A 2019 survey revealed a concerning trend in men’s health: Just 50% considered annual checkups important. Health is not always a priority for men so Richmond University Medical Center would like to raise awareness with a closer look at four common conditions affecting men across the country.
1. Heart Disease
Heart disease causes one in four deaths among men, and men experience an elevated risk for heart problems that may lead to disability and death. If you notice shortness of breath, chest pain, swelling in the feet and lower extremities, light-headedness, and unexplained symptoms like frequent indigestion, nausea, sweats, and coughing, schedule an appointment with a physician immediately.
Focusing on heart health is a great way to reduce the risk for coronary disease and heart attack and can promote better health for men in general. Do the following to improve heart health:
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Get at least 30 minutes of exercise daily
- Eat a healthy diet that is low in fat and salt
- Limit alcohol intake
- Find ways to lower high blood pressure
Note: If you experience symptoms of a heart attack, call 9-1-1.
2. Alcohol Abuse
While wine, beer, and spirits are part of life for many Americans, overconsumption presents dangers for men’s health. Alcohol abuse is more common among men, who are hospitalized more frequently for alcohol-related concerns and account for nearly 75% of alcohol-related deaths each year. Along with increasing your risk for liver disease and cancer, excessive drinking also elevates the risk for other cancers, accidents, high blood pressure, diabetes, and even suicide.
If you suspect drinking may be a problem for your health, speak with a physician. They can offer resources to help you quit drinking or drink less and perform screenings to identify and treat any alcohol-related conditions you experience.
3. Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer awareness is growing, but successful treatment depends on regular screenings. One in eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime, and nearly 250,000 cases of this cancer are diagnosed each year. Men over 65 are at greater risk for prostate cancer, as are non-Hispanic Black men, those with a family history of prostate cancer, and overweight or obese men, although anyone may be diagnosed. Common symptoms include:
- Weak urine stream or difficulty urinating
- Frequent urge to urinate
- Blood in urine or semen
- Unexplained weight loss
- Erectile dysfunction
Fortunately, there is also good news about prostate cancer: it has a 90% five-year survival rate. Early detection helps many men overcome this disease and stay healthy for years to come.
4. Mental Health Challenges
Mental health problems are undertreated in men despite research that shows six million face depression each year and suicide as the seventh leading cause of male death. Men are also less likely to seek mental health care than women, often due to misconceptions and stereotypes. Too many believe asking for help is not masculine, but this could not be further from the truth. It takes great strength to ask for support.
If you experience depression, anxiety, or other mental health problems, the Center for Integrative Behavioral Medicine at Richmond University Medical Center offers treatment and the support male patients deserve. Along with care from a therapist or psychiatrist, regular exercise, meditation, and open conversations with loved ones can make coping with mental health conditions easier.
Help Us Raise Men’s Health Awareness
Whether you are concerned about your own health or that of a loved one, raising men’s health awareness is an easy way to avoid illness and improve quality of life. To learn more about men’s healthcare in Staten Island, New York, find a physician at Richmond University Medical Center or contact us for additional information.