06/12/2018 Bro’s Get Healthy

Marla Hill, Senior Copywriter

Bro’s Get Healthy

June is Men’s National Health Month.

Men, the challenge is on. When it comes to health, women have the upper hand. Because while the alpha male myth may still live, the stats show otherwise.

Established in 1994 by Congress to address troubling trends in men’s heath, Men’s National Health Month brings awareness to male health issues each June, encouraging prevention with a healthier lifestyle. 

Here are some serious, and some surprising, health stats for guys to take on…Men:

Live about 5 years less than women. And lead 9 out of 10 of the top causes of death1. Although more males than females are born (105 vs. 100), by age 35, women outnumber men1. Life expectancy for a male born in the U.S. today is age 76 compared to 81 for females2.

Live on the edge. Biology may play a role in why some males take more risks than females (the brain’s frontal lobe, or “judgement center”, develops more slowly in males) helping explain why more males than females die in accidents or due to violence from things like biking, drunk driving, even homicide3. They also outnumber women in high risk occupations like the military, firefighting and construction3, accounting for 92% of workplace injuries1.

Die of heart disease more. While heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the US, more men die of heart disease—and at a younger age—than women4. Although hormones may play a role, lifestyle likely takes a larger part. Consider:

  • 35% of men 20 and over are obese5
  • Nearly 1/3 of men 20 and over have high blood pressure and/or are medicated for it6
  • Almost 40% of men smoke worldwide compared to about 9 percent of women7

Get struck by lightning more. Males are five times more likely than females to be struck by lightning. While the risk of being struck is low, 85 percent of lightning deaths were men according to the CDC8.

Have a higher suicide rate. Although females have higher rates of reported depression than males, and make more non-fatal attempts, males have a higher suicide rate3. While 30% of men experience depression, only 1 in 4 men actually talk about it1.

Avoid doctors. Does anyone really like going to the doctor? Men seem to like it less than women as they schedule visits far less often according to a survey from the Orlando Health hospital system. Top reasons given include: too busy to go, afraid of finding out what might be wrong, and uncomfortable with certain exams such as prostate checks. Dr. Jamin Brahmbhatt, of Orlando Health, feels avoiding the doctor is men’s #1 health problem and their complacency is killing them10.

Should hang with the guys more. Isolation may be the biggest health issue of all, the former surgeon general of the U.S., Vivek Murthy said in a recent Boston Globe magazine article. Numerous studies show that those who were more socially isolated were more likely to die during a given period than their more social neighbors, even after correcting for age, gender, and lifestyle choices like exercising and eating right. And social isolation is a growing issue for men, especially middle-aged men11.

On the upside
Guys can get healthier with some lifestyle changes like eating right, moving more, not smoking, going to the doctor and even a bromance or two. Check out more tips here: menshealthmonth.org.

References:
1 Retrieved from menshealthmonth.org/mens-health-month-toolkit.html.
2 Life expectancy in North America in 2017 | Statistic. Retrieved from statista.com/statistics/274513/life-expectancy-in-north-america/.
3 Shmerling, R. H. (2016, February 19). Why men often die earlier than women. Retrieved from health.harvard.edu/blog/why-men-often-die-earlier-than-women-201602199137.
4 Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention. (2017, August 23). Retrieved from cdc.gov/dhdsp/data_statistics/fact_sheets/fs_men_heart.htm.
5 National Center for Health Statistics. (2016, July 18). Retrieved from cdc.gov/nchs/data/hestat/obesity_adult_13_14/obesity_adult_13_14.htm.
6 Hypertension Among Adults in the United States: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2011–2012. (2013, October 31). Retrieved from cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db133.htm#x2013;2012.
7 who.int/gender/documents/10facts_gender_tobacco_en.pdf.
8 Lightning: Victim Data. (2014, February 06). Retrieved from cdc.gov/disasters/lightning/victimdata.html.
9 Suicide death rate U.S. by gender 1950-2015 | Statistic. Retrieved from statista.com/statistics/187478/death-rate-from-suicide-in-the-us-by-gender-since-1950/.
10 Why Avoiding the Doctor is Men's #1 Health Problem. (n.d.). Retrieved from orlandohealth.com/blog/why-avoiding-the-doctor-is-mens-number-1-health-problem.
11 Baker, B. (2017, March 09). The biggest threat facing middle-age men isn't smoking or obesity. It's loneliness. - The Boston Globe. Retrieved from bostonglobe.com/magazine/2017/03/09/the-biggest-threat-facing-middle-age-men-isn-smoking-obesity-loneliness/k6saC9FnnHQCUbf5mJ8okL/story.html.

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