It is impossible to control your gender, but one can take steps to prevent some of the major causes of death, especially in older men. It’s no longer news that women tend to live longer than men globally. A man can expect to live to between 75 and 78 years of age in North America, depending where he lives. For women, life expectancy is between 80 and 83 years of age.
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Coronary heart disease (CHD) or coronary artery disease (CAD), in which arteries serving the heart narrows and becomes hardened. A man’s risk of heart disease rises considerably after the age of 45. However, you can prevent it by:
- Quitting use of tobacco
- Engage in regular aerobic exercise that improves your heart rate
- Check your levels of cholesterol and keep them within a healthy range.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Eat heart-healthy foods, like the ones associated with a Mediterranean-style diet: vegetables, fresh fruits, fish, whole grains, nuts, and other foods that are rich in fiber, and low in saturated fats.
Stroke occurs when the brain lacks sufficient supply of blood, either because of a blockage in a blood vessel supplying the brain, or the rupture of a blood vessel in the brain. Men who have a higher risk of developing stroke are those with diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure (hypertension).
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How to prevent stroke:
- Check your blood pressure checked and treat it to reduce risk of heart disease
- Avoid drinking excessively. If you must, drink in moderation.
- Control your diabetes
- Lower your sodium intake to help reduce high blood pressure.
- Smoking increases your stroke risk. So, quit tobacco.
- Exercise regularly
- Eat healthy diet that is low in saturated fats.
Some forms of deadly cancers in older men include prostate cancer, lung cancer, and colorectal cancer. A family history of cancer may increase your odds of getting it, there are steps you can take to reduce your threat.
How to prevent cancer:
- Avoid smoking and avoid secondhand smoke.
- Reduce your intake of alcohol
- Be active physically
- Avoid exposure to chemical and air pollution be it at home or work
- Eat a healthy diet rich in vegetables, fiber, fruits, and fish, while reducing intake of fats and meat.
- Wear sunscreen and have any skin changes diagnosed by your doctor.
- Be aware of screening tests for early detection of colorectal and prostate cancers if you are over 50.
Diabetes makes it difficult for your body to process glucose from your food as fuel. Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented. It involves the body’s immune system attacking the cells that produce insulin. For type 2 diabetes, glucose accumulates up in your blood instead of being used as energy. Type 2 diabetes can be prevented. Many men are unaware they have diabetes until they experience symptoms, like erectile dysfunction and loss of vision.
You can prevent diabetes by:
- Maintaining a healthy weight.
- Consult your doctor about screening if you have a family history of diabetes.
- Eat a healthy plant-based diet that includes lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and fish
- Avoid added salt, sugars, and fats.
Chronic Lower Respiratory Diseases
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD involves chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Risk factors of developing respiratory diseases include smoking cigars, cigarettes, and pipes. COPD is also linked to lung cancer. Other airborne pollution, like car exhaust, radon, and asbestos, can also contribute to lung disease.
READ ALSO: Early Signs of COPD
What you can do to prevent it:
- Don’t smoke, and if you already do, take steps to quit.
- Avoid secondhand smoke.
- Steer clear of other airborne pollutants, including dust and chemical fumes.
Image source: eatright.org
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