No matter the research study, scientific finding, or health care statistic, one of the most consistent health facts around is that men, in general, do not live as long as women.
• Coronary artery disease (CAD) is three times higher among men who are clinically depressed.
• Male suicides outnumber female suicides in every age group.
• Homicide and suicide are among the top three causes for death among males between the ages of 15 and 34.
• By the age of 85, women outnumber men in the U.S. 2.2 to 1; this rises to 3 to 1 if they reach their 90s.
These very sobering numbers force us to ask a very important question: why?
According to Marianne J. Legato, MD, there are various biological, cultural, and personal reasons that men’s life span in the U.S. lasts an average of six years less than women’s.
“Male mortality is shorter in part, Legato says, because males are more fragile and inherently vulnerable than females from birth. And unlike women, who have fought hard to have their specific health needs validated and addressed, men haven’t demanded equal treatment.”
• Conditioning. The challenges in men’s health are in part a byproduct of the rules set shortly after birth, Legato says: Suck up the pain, don’t be a wimp, show no weakness, and “man up.” Many men only seek medical counsel when under duress from a spouse or when their condition has deteriorated to a severe state.
• Women are better at demanding help. “Women are able to logically ask for help,” says Legato, who has long promoted the concept of gender-specific medicine. “They’re hardwired in the brain and very motivated.”
What Men Have To Do To Extend Their Lives
In general, there’s a lack of awareness among men — and even the medical community — regarding the specific health needs of a male that could help prevent male deaths.
Below are the leading factors of death in men. Tackling these areas can help men make a significant difference in their health and improve their life expectancy:
1. Men need to really talk to the doctor. Leave embarrassment in the waiting room. Women are taught at an early age to be candid and open with their doctors. Symptoms that can be uncomfortable to talk about — such as erectile dysfunction — can be tied to more serious ailments such as diabetes and heart disease. Men, despite cultural tradition, should also request breast checks.