Men’s leading causes of death are nothing new: heart disease, cancer, unintentional injuries, stroke, diabetes, respiratory disease and suicide.
The good news is that most of these conditions are preventable. To decrease your risks, you need to change the below habits that can endanger your health.
Don’t Be Single
Numerous surveys have shown that married men, especially men in their 50s, 60s, and 70s, are healthier and have lower death rates than those who never married or who are divorced or widowed. Never-married men are three times more likely to die of cardiovascular disease, for example. After 50, divorced men’s health deteriorates rapidly compared to married men’s, found a RAND Center for the Study of Aging report.
Why? The social nature of marriage may lower stress levels and depression, which lead to chronic illness. Also, unmarried men generally have poorer health habits, too, such as drinking more, eat poorly, going to the doctor less often less medical care and engaging in more risky behaviors, such as promiscuous sex.
Don’t Go Tech-Crazy
The more time that’s spent looking at wide-screen TVs, smartphones, tablets, gaming systems, laptops, and other electronics, the less time that’s spent on more healthful pursuits, like moving your body, communing with nature, and interacting with human beings.
Social isolation raises the risk of depression and dementia, and a sedentary lifestyle has been linked to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and premature death. A 2012 Australian study of more than 220,000 adults ages 45 and up linked sitting for 11 or more hours a day with a 40 percent increased risk of death over the next three years.
But researchers say that getting up and moving even five minutes per hour is a “feasible goal . . . and offers many health benefits.”
Don’t Eat Poorly
In 2010, 35.5 percent of men were obese, up from 27.5 percent in 2000, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Poor nutrition is linked with heart disease, diabetes, and cancer — leading causes of death in men over 40. Younger midlife men often over-rely on red meat, junk food, and fast food to fuel a busy lifestyle, which leads to excess weight, high cholesterol, hypertension, and other risk factors. Older men living alone and alcoholics are vulnerable to malnutrition, because they tend not to prepare healthy food for themselves.