National Men’s Health Week: June 12-18
Each year in June, the week before Fathers Day is set aside to honor men’s health culminating in the day set aside to honor the central male figure in most of our lives, our dads. It makes you wonder. What exactly are the issues around men’s health? The top 10 list below includes some conditions we would expect, but others may very well surprise you.
According to the CDC, these are the top 10 causes of death of men in the US:
- Heart disease
- Cancer (lung cancer in the top spot)
- Unintentional Injuries
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Influenza & pneumonia
- Chronic liver disease & cirrhosis
Of course, as always, there is yet another list!
Heart disease and cancer are the focus of many preventive medicine initiatives. So, it is no surprise there that they are the most common causes of death. However, there has been decades of publicity surrounding the harmful effects of smoking and it being the leading cause of lung cancer. Yet, smoking seems to be a stubborn vice and its effects are obvious here.
Another surprise is how high on the list unintentional injuries rank making it to the #3 slot. These injuries include car accidents and falls. Also surprising is that suicide figures prominently as well. Not something I expected. Suicide among men in the top 10 list is particularly curious since it does not even make it onto the top 10 list for female causes of death.
Data by Age
It is interesting to look more closely at data by age on the CDC website. When we look specifically at the older male age groups of 65-84 and 85+, unintentional injuries drop down to slots #6 & #7. Typically, these are the years where men are less active and risk taking. Plus, many seniors give up driving later in life. Also, it is interesting to note that suicide disappears as a top 10 cause of death in this cohort. Not surprising, influenza and pneumonia are bumped up into the 8th and 6th spots respectively and Parkinson’s disease, an affliction of the elderly, appears in the 10th and 9th slots of these two older age groups.
Of course, the existence of co-morbidities give a more robust picture of what actually causes mortality than a stand alone one event/condition snapshot.
For more information on this fascinating subject, I invite you to click around on our website (links above) and blog where we have a plethora of information and are always reporting on the most up to date topics with respect to health and caregiving.
Always here to help,
Anita Kamiel, R.N., M.P.S.
Director of Patient Services