Men encouraged to get health exams while young


by KING 5 HealthLink

Posted on June 23, 2014 at 5:05 PM

Updated Monday, Jun 23 at 8:00 PM

Everyone is living longer, but for men especially, if you don't pay attention to your health when you're younger, even if you make it to old age, odds are you'll be facing chronic health conditions and disability that could have been avoided.

"The most likely thing that is going to affect a male is cardiovascular disease- heart attacks and strokes. And the groundwork for those illnesses start when we're young and then progress as we get older," Dr. Daniel Sullivan said.

Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control found women are much more likely to visit the doctor for annual exams and screenings. Here's another fact: The most common causes of death affect more men at an earlier age with one exception: breast cancer.

Heart disease and cancer cause the most deaths among men. Also, men have fewer infection-fighting T-cells, and are thought to have weaker immune systems.

But all that can be overridden with preventative exams and screenings. That includes regular checks for blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol.

It's also critical to maintain a healthy weight because most men gain about two pounds per year.

"And as we slowly gain that weight, we then develop high blood pressure, our cholesterol can sneak up, and there's an epidemic of diabetes in this country," said Dr. Sullivan. "Currently one in eight people have diabetes and the projection is that by 2030 1 out of 3 of us will have diabetes."

Unfortunately, when it comes to silent diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure, men often don't think about getting treatment until it affects their performance in the bedroom.

Related links:

Men's Health Network