What Are the Top Male Health Concerns?

Reviewed on 9/21/2021

The two main health risks for men include heart disease and cancer. Tips to prevent heart disease and cancer include a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding tobacco and alcohol, muscle strengthening, protecting your skin, practicing safe sex, following up on your health screenings, and more.
The two main health risks for men include heart disease and cancer. Tips to prevent heart disease and cancer include a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding tobacco and alcohol, muscle strengthening, protecting your skin, practicing safe sex, following up on your health screenings, and more.

The top two causes of death for males are heart disease and cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

To prevent heart disease in men, the American Heart Association recommends: 

  • Know your risk for heart disease 
    • Many risk factors can be reduced with lifestyle changes
    • Knowing risk factors can help you and your doctor determine the best treatment plan
    • Factors that can increase the risk of heart disease include: 
  • Eat a healthy diet 
    • Focus on plenty of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, plant-based proteins, lean animal proteins, and fish
    • Limit or avoid refined carbohydrates, processed meats, sweetened drinks, sodium, added sugars, and saturated fats, and avoid trans fats
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Be physically active: refer to the above 2008 Federal physical activity guidelines as a starting point
    • The 2008 Federal physical activity guidelines recommend adults get:
      • Aerobic activity
        • 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week, OR
        • 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity each week, OR
        • An equivalent mix of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity
        • Performed at least 10 minutes at a time, preferably spread throughout the week
      • Muscle strengthening 
        • 2 or more days per week
        • Work all major muscle groups: legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms
        • Repeat exercises for each muscle group 8 to 12 times per set group should be and increase the weight or do another set as exercises become easier
  • Don’t smoke, vape, or use tobacco products
  • Manage chronic conditions such as high blood pressure (hypertension), high cholesterol, high blood sugar, diabetes, or other conditions that put you at greater risk for heart disease
  • Take medicines as directed for any health conditions
  • Work with your healthcare providers and discuss issues that affect your health and well-being

To prevent cancer in men, the Prevent Cancer Foundation recommends: 

  • Don’t smoke, vape, or use tobacco products
  • Protect your skin from the sun
    • The American Academy of Dermatology recommends everyone use sunscreen 
      • SPF 30 or higher
      • Broad-spectrum protection (protects against UVA and UVB rays)
      • Water resistant
    • Apply sunscreen at least 15 minutes before going outdoors and reapply at least every two hours, or after swimming or sweating, according to the directions on the bottle
    • Use lip balm with an SPF of 30 or higher
  • Eat a healthy diet 
    • Focus on plenty of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, plant-based proteins, lean animal proteins, and fish
    • Limit or avoid refined carbohydrates, processed meats, sweetened drinks, sodium, added sugars, and saturated fats, and avoid trans fats
  • Limit or avoid alcohol
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Be physically active: refer to the above 2008 Federal physical activity guidelines above as a starting point
  • Practice safe sex 
    • Use latex condoms every time you have sex
    • Be in a mutually monogamous relationship 
  • Get immunized 
  • Know your family medical history and get regular cancer screenings

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Reviewed on 9/21/2021
References
https://www.cdc.gov/healthequity/lcod/men/2016/all-races-origins/index.htm

https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-lifestyle/prevent-heart-disease-and-stroke

https://www.preventcancer.org/education/seven-steps-to-prevent-cancer/

https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/downloads/pa_fact_sheet_adults.pdf

https://www.aad.org/public/everyday-care/sun-protection/sunscreen-patients/sunscreen-faqs

https://www.uptodate.com/contents/anogenital-warts-the-basics?search=genital%20warts&usage_type=default&source=search_result&selectedTitle=1~124&display_rank=1#H394373456