Women live longer than men, have fewer fatal accidents, suffer fewer violent deaths, and are outnumbered by men in suicide by a ratio of four to one. Knowing this, why don’t men take better care of themselves? Boys, from childhood, are taught and expected to be tough and ignore pain.
Here are some of the top health risks and concerns for men in their 30’s.
1. Heart Disease
One in four men has some form of heart disease. It is the leading cause of death. In half of the cases of heart attacks, the heart attack is the first time the patient finds out about any heart disease.
As many as 10% of all heart attacks in men occur before age 45. Just like in older adults, about 80% of these attacks stem from coronary artery disease. Other causes of early heart attacks in men include abnormalities of one or more arteries, blood clots that form in other areas of the body and are carried to the coronary arteries, blood clotting disorders, chest trauma, drug abuse, stress and high blood pressure.
2. Suicide and Depression
Men are four times more likely than women to commit suicide. Men are more prone to suicide because often they are taught to hold their emotions inside. They don’t openly show signs of sadness or depression, seeing it as unmasculine.
The signs of depression for men differ than that of women. Men, instead of sadness, may react with anger, aggression, risk-taking behavior, alcohol and substance abuse, burning out at work or even a midlife crisis. Ignoring their emotional pain can work against men, as looking the other way can trigger depression which in turn can lead to thoughts of suicide.
3. Prostate Cancer
Not enough is known about prostate cancer and how to prevent it. The disease is treatable if detected early enough. This is challenging since this form of cancer can show no symptoms until it has spread throughout the body. Even though age is a risk factor, younger men shouldn’t assume they won’t develop it. Thirty percent of prostate cancers occur in men under the age of 65.
4. Testicular Cancer
Testicular cancer is the most common form of cancer in men between the ages of 15 and 35. Caucasian men are more likely than African-American and Asian-American men to develop this type of cancer. There are two types of testicular cancer: seminomas and nonseminomas. These cancers grow from germ cells which are the cells that make sperm.
Seminoma is a slow-growing form of testicular cancer usually found in men in their 30s and 40s. Nonseminoma is a more common type of testicular cancer and tends to grow more quickly than seminomas. There may be no symptoms. Symptoms that may occur can include discomfort or pain in the testicle; a feeling of heaviness in the scrotum; pain in the back or lower abdomen; enlargement of a testicle or a change in the way it feels; development of breasts (this can also occur normally in adolescent boys who don’t have testicular cancer); lump or swelling in either testicle.
Most men’s health concerns are largely preventable. It is important to make healthy lifestyle choices, such as eating a healthy balanced diet and getting more exercise daily. It’s also important to make better choices when indulging in risky behavior. Try to drink in moderation and avoid casual sex. Of course, making common-sense choices — such as using safety ladders, harnesses and wearing a seat belt — are smart and healthy choices, too. And remember to see your doctor regularly.