Throughout history mankind has endured numerous deadly diseases that have thinned out the population. For example, the plague and Spanish Flu were just two of extremely detrimental diseases that put the human race at risk. Today, heart disease is a common killer among men.
Sometimes there isn’t much we can do about getting a disease. Maybe you get bit by a mosquito and contract malaria. Perhaps cancer runs in your family. Or, a contagious disease is unleashed into the environment. Hopefully, with modern medicine, any of those can be treated. But, you can prevent a number of other diseases just by taking care of yourself. Doing things like exercise, eating well and not smoking can go a long way in disease prevention.
Regardless of the scenario, many of us men will meet our fate at the hands of a disease. Chances are that unless you commit suicide or are in some sort of accident, a disease is already waiting to claim your life. While it’s not an easy subject to approach, knowing the common diseases out there may help you in living a longer and healthy life. With that in mind, here are the ten deadliest diseases for men.
10. Sexually Transmitted Diseases
It’s been estimated that there are over 65 million people living with a sexually transmitted disease (STD) in the United States alone. While many STDs are treatable, some of them can lead to other diseases and health problems, like cancer. Of course, one of the most devastating STDs is HIV/AIDS. Since becoming recognized in 1981, over 25 million people of died from the disease. In 2009, 2.6 million new cases of AIDS infections were reported and 1.8 million people died due to the fatal disease. We’re not trying to scare you into not having sex, just reminding you to practice safe sex, because STDs are more common than you may be aware of.
Hypertension, or just simply high blood pressure, affects some 70 million Americans. While it appears in both men and women equally, it is more prevalent in males before the age of 45. What makes hypertension so deadly are a couple of factors, beside the fact that it makes your heart pump harder. For starters, it can lead to other deadly diseases, such as renal failure (kidney failure), aneurysm, heart failure, stroke, or heart attack. Also, less than half of the Americans diagnosed do not have their blood pressure under control. Finally, most people are unaware that they even have high blood pressure, which is why it’s been called “the silent killer.”
8. Kidney Disease
Kidney disease kills about 2% of all males in the U.S. and affects about 20 million U.S. adults 20 years of age or older. It can be caused by diabetes, high blood pressure or overuse of certain medications like aspirin or ibuprofen. If left untreated, it can lead to kidney failure, requiring dialysis or transplant. Kidney disease is serious enough to even warrant its own awareness month every March.
7. Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s disease is a brain disorder that causes problems with memory, thinking, and behavior. It’s also the most common form of dementia among older adults and affects over 5 million Americans. That number is expected to be as high as 16 million by 2050. While found in both genders, it is a common and top killer among men accounting for about 2% of all deaths. On a personal note, it’s probably one of the worst diseases a person could get. It’s absolutely dreadful.
If you smoke or have COPD, asthma, heart disease, diabetes or a weakened immune system, the flu can be more severe. Since men want to tough it out or are more adventurous, they’re also more likely to develop the flu, which when left untreated, can kill you. Shockingly, these easily treated diseases still account for over 2% of all male deaths in the U.S.
Diabetes is a disease that affects the way the body regulates blood sugar (glucose) and kills about 3% of males in the U.S. If left untreated diabetes, can lead to heart attack and stroke. Unfortunately, many people are unaware that they have diabetes until they experience symptoms such as erectile dysfunction, loss of vision, kidney disease, and nerve damage to the hands or feet.
4. Cerebrovascular Disease
Cerebrovascular disease is a fancy way of saying stroke, which causes over 4% of all deaths in men. What’s scary about a stroke is that there are some factors that are out of your hands, like family history, age, and race. Of course being healthy is obvious, but quitting smoking and keeping your blood pressure and diabetes under control will also help.
3. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, or COPD for short, is a group of chronic lung conditions that includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis, which cause airflow blockage and breathing-related problems. Smoking is the major factor in developing COPD. In fact, men who smoke are 12 times more likely to die of COPD than men who are nonsmokers. However, asthma, exposure to air pollutants, air quality, genetic factors, and respiratory infections can also play a role. COPD saw a 8% increase from 2000 to 2005 and has accounted for over 5% of male deaths in the U.S. alone. Globally, respiratory diseases like Tuberculosis, TB for short, is a huge problem in developing countries.
Cancer accounts for almost a quarter of all male deaths in the U.S. alone. Lung (31%), colorectal (10%) and prostate (9%) cancers are the most common in men. While it’s not completely understood what causes cancer, smoking has long been proven as a major cause, as well as genetics, sun exposure, obesity, and certain environmental factors.
1. Heart Disease
If cancer won’t get you, then heart disease probably will. Heart disease is the other major killer of men. It’s estimated that over a quarter of the deaths in men are caused by it. While heart disease is a leading killer for both sexes, males die from it at an earlier age. And, while people are aware that they need to eat a healthy diet, get regular physical activity, maintain a healthy weight and not smoke, only 3% of Americans follow through with it. Because of this, heart disease deaths could be on the rise.
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