Man Up! Take Care of Your Health

June is Men’s Health Month, a health education campaign celebrated across the U.S. to heighten awareness of men’s health problems that are preventable.  Let me repeat:  PREVENTABLE.

Many people believe that chronic diseases can’t be prevented. Nothing could be further from the truth.  

According to the World Health Organization, at least 80% of all heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes can be prevented by eliminating the major risk factors.  Let’s look more closely at heart disease—the most common cause of death for men in U.S.  

Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) is a general term that includes many different conditions affecting the heart and blood vessels. According to the American Heart Association, over 39 million American men (1 in 3) suffer from one or more of these conditions, and every year just under half a million of them die of cardiovascular disease (1 in 4 men)—that’s more than cancer and diabetes combined. Approximately 392,000 men and 419,000 women die from cardiovascular disease each year. CVD is also a major cause 

A healthy diet and lifestyle are the most common contributors to good cardiovascular health.  

Look at the list of statements below. If any of them are true about you, make an appointment to see your healthcare provider today. Just one “Yes” answer means you are at risk. Two “Yes” answers quadruples your risk. Three “Yes” answers increases your risk by 10 times:

  • I’m 45 or older. Your risk of developing cardiovascular disease doubles each decade
  • An immediate family member (father, mother, brother, sister) was diagnosed with high blood pressure or some other kind of heart condition before age 55
  • I’m African American
  • I get little or no exercise
  • I’m overweight/obese
  • I eat a lot of salty foods and/or I add salt to what I’m eating
  • My cholesterol is high
  • I smoke. Smokers are 2-4 times more likely to develop heart disease than nonsmokers
  • I have high blood pressure
  • I use recreational drugs, such as cocaine.
  • I’m under a lot of stress, at work and/or at home
  • I drink more than two alcoholic drinks every day
  • I drink a lot of coffee (not decaf) or other caffeinated beverages
  • I have diabetes. More than 80% of people with diabetes die of some kind of CVD
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