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November 09, 2018

Five Reasons Men are Living Sicker and Dying Younger—And What You Can Do About It

Joyce Knestrick, PhD, CRNP, FAANP

If the battle of the sexes was based on health alone, women would have the edge. In general, men live sicker and die younger, thanks to the culmination of several factors. Here’s the list of what’s hurting men most, and what you can do about it.  

Prostate cancer. One in nine men will get it, and rates are expected to double in the next 15 years. Get yours checked starting at age 50, and earlier if you’re high risk.

Testicular cancer. The average age of diagnosis is 33, which catches a lot of men off guard. Providers screen for this at routine checkups, so don’t skip your annual appointment.

Heart disease. This is the leading cause of male death. High blood pressure, cholesterol and smoking are the big three risk factors, so talk to your provider about getting them in check.

Suicide. Mental health stigmas help explain why nearly 80 percent of suicide deaths are men. Find a provider you trust if you need help.  

Lack of care. 60 percent of men don’t get regular checkups, and forty percent don’t see a provider like an NP, even when they suspect something is wrong. Make it a habit to see yours regularly.

Good health and longevity takes some work. Men, it’s time to step up your game!