Men have a life expectancy of 74.8 years versus 80.1 years for women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's "Deaths: Preliminary Data for 2003". Heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women. Men usually develop heart disease 10 to 15 years earlier than women, and thus are more likely to die of it in the prime of life. About one-fourth of all heart disease-related deaths occur in men ages 35 to 65. Men can take steps now to reduce their risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, certain cancers, and other long-term illnesses.
Making healthier lifestyle choices such as healthy eating combined with physical activity, choosing not to use tobacco, limiting your alcohol use, and getting regular health check-ups will improve your quality of life.
Healthy eating is important for both longevity and quality of life. Statistically speaking, men live five to seven years less than women and face major health risks, many of which are nutrition-related. Throughout their life cycles, men encounter periods when good nutrition is particularly essential such as when in training as an athlete, during the reproductive years, and as the aging process progresses. Research has demonstrated that nutrition can play a strong role in the prevention and treatment of certain chronic and acute diseases including cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. It is also important in managing other illnesses that affect men, such as eating disorders and osteoporosis. Following the recommendations in the 2005 Dietary Guidelines (http://www.healthierus.gov/dietaryguidelines/) will assist you in living a longer, healthier, and more active life. Additional nutrition information is available on the web.
Men frequently ignore symptoms and are reluctant to seek care until there is a crisis. A March 2000 survey by the Commonwealth Fund titled, "Out of Touch: American Men and the Health Care System," found that 24 percent of men did not see a physician in the year prior to the survey - three times the rate found for women (8 percent). Getting regular check-ups, preventive screening tests, and immunizations are among the most important things you can do for yourself. Take time to review the guidelines for screening tests and immunizations recommended by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, http://www.womenshealth.gov/prevention/men/. Use the chart to remind yourself of when you need to see your health care provider based on your personal health profile. Make an appointment today! Then, become a partner with your health care provider to decide when you need your screenings and immunizations. Share your family history, speak up, voice your concerns, and always ask questions.