On average men die five years younger than women, and that trend is born out throughout many of the leading causes of death. June is National Men’s Health Month, a time to increase awareness around the preventable health problems that men often face.
Men face an increasing health risk from several types of ailments. Below is some information on some of the leading health risks for men. The Men’s Health Network has a variety of information on the issues.
Common Men’s Health Risks
That means increasing the awareness around prostate cancer, which is the number one cancer among men in the U.S, with 170,000 diagnoses annually. African American men, men with a family history, American Indian men, and those who have been exposed to agent orange are among those at the highest risk.
All men are at some risk for this form of cancer, and you can learn more about it here.
Suicide is the seventh leading cause of death among men, and the risk factor goes up with age. The highest rates of suicide occur in men who are 65 and older. More than half of the individuals who die by suicide are not known to have a mental illness, either.
Men are at significantly higher risk for homicide than women. Black men have the highest risk of becoming a homicide victim, at 1 in 30. White men have a 1 in 179 risk for homicide. This is compared to black women who have a 1 in 132 risk, and white women, who have a much lower 1 in 495 risk.
While smoking numbers are going down in the U.S, men are more likely to smoke than women. There are an estimated 37.8 million adults who smoke in the U.S, and there are 480,000 smoking-related deaths per year. This makes it the leading cause of preventable death.
Health Insurance Plays a Factor
Men are less likely to have quality health insurance than women. This can prevent them from receiving coverage, or seeking care in the first place, should they need it. The widening gap could also explain the higher mortality rate for men.