Encouraging men of all ages to take care of their physical and mental health

Education on men’s health aims to raise global awareness on issues that affect men’s health and to encourage organizations to develop more accurate health policies and services that meet the specific needs of men of all ages. Healthcare providers, media and individuals around the world encourage men and boys to get routine medical checks and seek medical advice for early treatment of symptoms or injuries.

Men’s lifespan is about 5 years less than women’s and it is estimated than most men spend the last years of their lives in poor health. The three main causes that reduce the lifespan of a man are cardiovascular diseases, suicides, and accidents. Other major health problems affecting men are cancer, kidney disease, diabetes, respiratory diseases, depression, influenza and pneumonia. Depending on men’s ethnicity, some diseases are more prevalent than others. For example in the US, the leading cause of death among non-Hispanic white men is heart disease, whereas Asian men’s leading cause of death is cancer [1].

Men often do not have regular check-up appointments as women do. While women are regularly advised to visit their doctor once a year, or once every two years, and do regular screenings and checkups, most men are unaware that they should visit their doctor once every two years until their 40s and every year after their 40s. A large percentage of men worldwide avoid visiting the doctor unless they suffer from a serious problem [2]. Regular visits to the doctor can identify health issues before they progress and become problematic. Early diagnosis and intervention in the cases of high cholesterol, high glucose, elevated blood pressure, etc. can manage the disease before they manifest into severe health problems [3]. Late diagnosis can cause complications, chronic problems and even death.

Men are often reluctant to seek medical advice for practical and personal reasons. Most common reasons include that they are too busy and do not find the time to book an appointment, and they feel embarrassed and are in discomfort when they visit a health provider. Men also avoid talking about health problems with their friends and family so as to not show weakness.

An estimated 70% of a man’s overall health is affected by lifestyle choices and 30% by genetics [4]. Men could adopt a healthier lifestyle by getting sufficient sleep: 7 to 9 hours every night can prevent chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases, obesity, and depression. Men with inadequate sleep have a 60% higher risk of having a heart attack. Men also need to stay active by getting at least 2 and a half hours of moderate activity per week and make sure they drink a lot of water, as water regulates body temperature, protects the joints and the spinal cord, and removes toxins and waste from the body. Other lifestyle changes that could boost overall health is having a balanced diet, practicing self-care and avoiding drugs, alcohol, and tobacco. Equally importantly, men should prioritize their mental health as very few men seek psychological and emotional support when they need it [5].

Educating people on men’s health aims to raise awareness for preventable physical and mental health problems by encouraging self-care and regular doctor visits for early detection and treatment of diseases among men and boys. Education on men’s health also aims to improve the health of men and boys by encouraging improvements in men’s health-related behavior and by increasing their willingness to access health care.

NIPD Genetics clinical laboratories, which are part of GESY, offer the NIPD Genetics Men’s Health package with specific biomarkers to evaluate a man’s general health and it is recommended for men of all ages. The package includes: FBC, Urine analysis

Glucose, Urea, Uric acid, Creatinine, ESR, Triglycerides, Cholesterol (Total, LDL, HDL), TSH, T3, T4, PSA, free PSA, Iron, Ferritin, SGOT, SGPT and γGT. NIPD Genetics clinical laboratories enable easy access, and the experienced personnel is trained to respond to every need. To learn more please visit www.nipdlabs.com.cy

The content is intended only for informational purposes and should not be perceived as medical advice.

References:

  1. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/leading-causes-of-death-in-men#Most-common-causes-of-death
  2. https://www.aarp.org/health/healthy-living/info-2019/survey-men-avoiding-doctors.html
  3. https://www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/hometown-health/speaking-of-health/mens-health-checkups-and-screenings-are-key
  4. https://diabetesnsw.com.au/blog/mens-health-week/
  5. https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/a-to-z/m/men-and-mental-health