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6 top health threats to men


WebMD Medical Reference
Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks

More boys than girls are born every year in the UK. But any lead in health that men start with vanishes with the first dirty nappy.

From infancy to old age, women tend to be healthier than men.

A newborn baby boy in the UK can now expect to live for 78.1 years, whereas a newborn baby girl can expect to live for 82.1 years.

As women tend to live longer than men, females account for slightly over 50% of UK the population.

The reasons women outlive men are not fully understood, but men not seeing the doctor if they are unwell probably doesn’t help. A 2012 study by the National Pharmacy Association found that men were much less likely than women to take advantage of primary care health services, including GPs and pharmacies. Men visit their GP around four times a year compared to six times for women.

But even if you're feeling healthy, a little planning can help you stay that way. The top threats to men's health aren't secrets: They're known, common and often preventable. So what are the top health threats to men and how can they be avoided?

Top six causes of death for men

To unlock secrets of a longer life, it helps to look at statistics for the leading reasons for death, plus the leading risks to men's health. Some of the risks can be reduced, helping longevity.

The top causes of death in men in England are:

  • Heart and circulation conditions (37%), including ischaemic heart disease, stroke and arterial disease
  • Cancer (27.7%), including lung and trachea cancer, prostate cancer, stomach, oesophageal and pancreatic cancer
  • Respiratory disorders (14.3%), including COPD and asthma
  • Disorders of the nervous system (5%), including Alzheimer's disease, other forms of dementia and Parkinson's disease
  • Digestive disorders (4.9%), including liver disease
  • Kidney disorders (2.3%), including renal failure

 

The six biggest risks to men's health

Some conditions and behaviours can lead to early death.

The top six risks to men's health are:

These are just the top six health risks. There are many other ways men die earlier, from suicide to car accidents.

Statistics also suggest married men live longer, as does sticking to recommended maximum alcohol limits. Getting a good night's sleep, avoiding stress and remembering to use safety equipment for any risky activity also help men live longer.

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Reviewed on January 10, 2013

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