Genetic, environment issues cause men to die earlier than women
CRAIG — On average, men die about six years younger than women in the United States, the result of both genetic and environmental health issues, according to a Memorial Regional Health specialist.
“They are prone to develop ischemic heart disease at an age a full 10 years earlier than women do. Men smoke more, although women are rapidly closing the gap. They are also exposed to more industrial pollutants, and I suspect that they work in more dangerous professions,” said Dr. Gerald Myers, Doctor of Cardiology and Internal Medicine at MRH.
Many men need to pay more attention to their health, because often, causes of premature death can be prevented or treated with early diagnosis.
The leading causes of death in men include heart disease, cancer and accidents, chronic lower respiratory diseases, stroke, diabetes, suicide, influenza and pneumonia, kidney disease and Alzheimer’s disease, according to statistics from the Center for Disease Control and Prevent.
Knowing what signs and symptoms to look for and getting regular checkups can help men to live healthier, longer lives.
Regular checkups provide a way to identify or prevent problems before they become serious.
Between routine exams, Myers advises men to see their physician for any of the following symptoms.
• chest pressure.
• shortness of breath when at rest, with exertion or when lying down at night.
• a “productive” cough.
• blood in urine, stool or sputum.
• difficult or painful voiding
• sudden, severe headaches
• unexplained weight loss
• unexplained swelling, lightheadedness, fainting, unilateral weakness, and/or difficulty with speech.
“These are just a few that come to mind,” he said.
Man Therapy was created to help working-age men, as well as their loved ones, facing a potential crisis. The program, available at mantherapy.org, uses humor to help men examine their own mental health and take a variety of actions that will put them on the path to treatment and recovery.
Since its launch in 2012, Man Therapy has helped more than 800,000 visitors from all over the world, according to the group’s website.
Though somewhat limited, resources are also available locally to address male-specific physical conditions.
“Most of the male-specific specialties are available on a limited basis by consultants who hold clinics here once or twice a month, including urologists, neurologists, oncologists, ENT, dermatology and neurosurgery,” Myers said. “I provide diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular diseases and, to a lesser extent, function as an internist. We have two full-time orthopedic physicians on staff at the clinic.”
When you hear “family medicine,” think of your family doctor — the person who provides you with general health care for all ages.