According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women. And men die at higher rates compared to women from three leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer, and unintentional injuries. June is all about raising awareness about the steps men can take right now to lower the risks.
This accounts for one in four male deaths. Most sudden cardiac events occur in men, and half who die suddenly have no previous symptoms. Most Americans have at least one risk factor for heart disease. But there are things you can do to decrease your risk:
- Don’t smoke.
- Lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. Ask your doctor what your healthy weight is.
- Eat healthy. Include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean protein, low-fat dairy and healthy fats every day.
- Be active. Get at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week. If 150 minutes is a big change for you, start small and work up to it.
- Moderate alcohol intake. That’s no more than two drinks per day, guys (and you can’t save them throughout the week and drink them all at once on the weekend).
The three most deadly cancers for men are lung, prostate, and colorectal cancers. There are over 100 types of cancer, but many can be prevented or successfully treated. Here’s what you can do:
- Get regular medical checkups. Screenings are important to find precancerous lesions and treat them before they become cancerous, and to find cancerous tumors as early as possible.
- Avoid tobacco and limit alcohol use.
- Avoid excessive exposure to the sun.
- Eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Be active.
This includes injuries from falls, fires, drowning, poisoning, motor vehicle crashes, sports and recreational activities. Most unintentional injuries are very preventable. Take these steps to reduce your risk of injury:
- Don’t drive if you’re sleepy, and certainly not while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Wear your seatbelt all the time, and obey all traffic laws (including the speed limit).
- Look for safety issues around your home, like frayed cords or loose rugs. Fix or remove these issues.
- Use appropriate safety gear during sports.
- Follow workplace safety guidelines.
- Use care with ladders, power equipment, and chemicals.
- Learn to swim.