#MenOfMI: Meet the man killers

As part of Men’s Health Week, we pulled together a list of the top five causes of death for men in America.  Otherwise known as man killers (not to be confused with Maneaters for you Hall and Oates fans), we know these five have one common thread: there are a few lifestyle changes that you can make to prevent you from falling victim to each one.

5.  Stroke- This man killer occurs when blood supply to a part of the brain is disrupted causing brain cells to die. What most men don’t realize is more than 50 percent of strokes are preventable. Ensure that you won’t become a stroke victim by following these preventative steps:

  • Keep your blood pressure below 120/80
  • Make simple lifestyle changes, for instance stop smoking or using alcohol excessively
  • Control blood sugar to decrease the risk of stroke in men with diabetes
  • Maintain a healthy diet to keep cholesterol low
  • Exercise frequently to prevent becoming overweight

4.  Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)- Nearly 60,000 men die from COPD each year. The primary cause of COPD is smoking, accounting for 80 percent of COPD deaths. COPD can also be caused by exposure to certain gases or fumes in the workplace, or heavy amounts of secondhand smoke and pollution. While most COPD can be prevented by not smoking, men should also abide by the following precautions:

  • Avoid bad air such as air pollution, chemical fumes and dust
  • If you already have COPD get a flu vaccine to prevent development of more serious problems like pneumonia

3.  Automobile Accidents- While car accidents may not seem like a preventable medical issue, they do represent a frequent threat to good health. Each year 30,000 men die from car accidents. To prevent becoming a victim of a car accident use common sense. Remember to avoid driving while feeling tired. Take advantage of safety measures by following the speed limit, be aware of road construction or bad weather and wear your seatbelt. Lastly, don’t text and drive. Texting is more dangerous than driving under the influence, increasing your risk of a crash by 23 times.

2.  Cancer- In 2010 nearly 300,000 men died from cancer. Lung cancer is the most common cancer causing death, accounting for 29 percent of deaths, followed by 11 percent with prostate cancer and 9 percent with colon or rectum cancer, among many other common forms of cancer among men. The following tips may help you to prevent getting cancer:

  • Research shows men who eat more than 10 grams of garlic a day have a 50 percent lower risk of prostate cancer than those who eat less than 2 grams/day
  • Lycopene in cooked tomato products has also been linked to lowering the risk of prostate cancer
  • Drinking six cups of coffee a day reduces your risk of developing prostate cancer by 59 percent
  • Stop smoking! Smoking accounts for 90 percent of lung cancer deaths in men

1.  Heart Disease- This leading cause of death is responsible for more than 390,000 men’s lives each year, according to the American Heart Association. Prevention should begin early in life by establishing healthy habits and sticking with them. You can determine your risk of heart disease, and follow these simple lifestyle changes to improve your heart’s health:

  • Exercise for 30 minutes at least four times a week to maintain a healthy weight
  • Drink at least five glasses of water a day
  • Keep your stress under control
  • Maintain your blood pressure level
  • Don’t smoke
  • Know your cholesterol level and keep it under control
  • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables

What changes will you start this week to avoid these man killers?

Photo credit Men’s Health Week



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