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Must Read: Why Men’s Health is Important

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Written By: Clover Lifestyle Blog

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June is Men’s Health Awareness month, and it’s a weighty subject. Here’s why:

It has been noted globally that on average women live 4-6 years longer than men[1]. But in South Africa, that gap is 7.2 years [2], and that is a lot. While biological factors have some influence, premature death in men has been linked more closely to lifestyle choices and behaviour.

Consider that the top three recorded causes of death for men in South Africa are: TB, HIV, and, Influenza and Pneumonia. If you consider those three related…then thereafter, causes of death would be heart disease, cerebrovascular disease (stroke) and diabetes mellitus[2]. The first three are treatable, and except for HIV, curable. The last three are, in most cases, directly related to lifestyle.

But let’s delve further:

90% of cancers are caused by environmental and lifestyle factors such as smoking, diet, and exercise[3], and prostate, colorectal, and lung cancer are leading the charge on the attack on men’s health[4].

How about going just a little further?

Although the statistics on alcohol consumption in South Africa is out of date, there is one thing that cannot be denied, South Africa is a hard-drinking country [5] [6] and excessive alcohol consumption has been linked to increasing the risk of cancer, causing damage to body tissues, and affecting the absorption of folate and other nutrients the body needs to stay healthy. Alcohol can also lead to adding some extra unwanted calories to your diet, and being overweight or obese also increases the risk of many types of cancer[7].

Alcohol abuse also increases depression, and there is overwhelming evidence supporting it[8], and it’s clear: excessive consumption is not good at all if you want to live a healthy life.

Now consider that the suicide rate of men is 16.49% higher than women,[2] and a pattern starts to emerge.

We need to start focusing more on the way men live their lives, so we can balance things out a bit.

As you age, your risk factors increase or decrease. So, we’ve compiled some nifty infographics that are age specific. Just click on your age below, and we’ll tell you all about the things that are relevant to you.

 

But here are some things to consider:

In your 20’s

In your 30’s

In your 40’s

In your 50’s

In your 60’s

 

The biggest risk to your health, is the way you choose to live your life. Choose wisely, laugh often, eat healthy, exercise, and take time to relax and spend it with friends, or family, or in nature, or reading a good book. Put the phone down, close the laptop and start taking care of yourself.

 

[1] http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2014/world-health-statistics-2014/en/
[2] http://www.statssa.gov.za/publications/P03093/P030932015.pdf
[3] http://www.cansa.org.za/files/2016/08/Fact-Sheet-Cancer-NCR-2011-web-Aug-2016.pdf
[4] http://www.cansa.org.za/south-african-cancer-statistics/
[5] www.who.int/substance_abuse/publications/global_alcohol_report/profiles/zaf.pdf
[6] www.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/112736/1/9789240692763_eng.pdf?ua=1
[7] https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/diet-physical-activity/alcohol-use-and-cancer.html
[8] Boden, Joseph M, Fergusson, David M. “Alcohol and depression” Addiction Vol 106, Issue 5 2011
https://www.researchgate.net/profile/David_Fergusson/publication/50303291_Alcohol_and_depression/links/02bfe51155fdf4e5c2000000.pdf

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