Over 50? – A Health Guide for Aging Men

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Based on numerous studies, females are naturally healthier than men. This claim is based on the fact that out of 15 leading causes of death, men are ahead of women in all causes except for one, Alzheimer’s disease. And the only reason is simply that many men do not live long enough to develop this condition. Additionally, during this coronavirus outbreak, staying as healthy as you can is imperative, especially for men over 50! 

On average, men die at least five years earlier than their wives. While there are biological reasons for health issues with men, there is also a discrepancy in how men approach their own health. If you look at the numbers, compared to women, men visit doctors less frequently. When it comes to health, this is often the last priority for them. So if you are a man over 50 and want to work on changing priorities, this post is for you. 

Below you will find the four most common health problems among senior males and how you can deal with them and live a longer, healthier and a happier life. 

Five Major Health Risks for Men Over 50

Cardiovascular Diseases 

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men around the world. According to numbers, one in every five men die due to cardiovascular diseases and the average age of death due to heart diseases is 65. 

Cardiovascular diseases can range from chest pain (angina) to high cholesterol and atherosclerosis (hardening of arteries). Cholesterol is the build-up of plaque inside the arteries which narrows the arteries and in turn affects the blood supply. If the plaque becomes unstable, it forms a clot which can result in a heart attack or stroke. 

Men are more prone to heart diseases because naturally, their bodies produce more bad cholesterol which contributes towards the blockage of arteries. 

How to Deal with it?

So while cardiovascular diseases continue to be one of the leading causes of death among men, on a positive note, you can work towards reducing your chances of developing this disease. How? Let’s find out. 

  • If you have a family history of cardiovascular diseases, make sure you work closely with your primary healthcare provider. Ask for screenings and tests which can help you find out the state of your heart health. Early detection can reduce the risk of a heart attack. 
  • If you are a smoker, consider quitting this habit. Smoking multiples the risk of cardiovascular diseases and increases the likelihood of an earlier death. 
  • Make sure you maintain a healthy diet and exercise regularly. Adding a physical activity of at least 30 minutes every day can significantly reduce your risk of cardiovascular diseases. 

Lung Cancer 

Men over 50, especially if they smoke, are at a much higher risk of developing lung cancer. Very often, the disease is diagnosed when it has already spread fully to the organ or to other parts of the body. And within a year of the diagnosis, less than half of the men are alive. So lung cancer is aggressive and is almost fatal. 

Smoking remains the single largest cause of lung cancer in the US and around the world. According to the numbers, in the year 2018, around 121,700 new cases of lung cancer were diagnosed among men in the US. During the same year, more than 83,000 men died due to the disease. In the same year, 2.1 million new cases of lung cancer were recorded around the world resulting in 1.76 million deaths in the same year. But there is definitely something all men can do to reduce the risk of this deadly disease. 

How to Deal with it?

  • Quit Smoking – This is the single, most effective solution which can reduce the risk of lung cancer at any age. If you are not sure how to go about it, you can always work with a medical professional. Doctors and therapists can suggest tools and ways through which you can overcome this habit of smoking.  

Prostate Cancer 

Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths among men; lung cancer being the first. The small gland located behind the penis secretes fluids which play a significant role in ejaculation. Though it is a common type of cancer among men, it is often not life-threatening. While as many as one in six men are likely to get diagnosed with prostate cancer sometime over the course of life, only 1 in 41 die from the disease. The average age of diagnosis of prostate cancer is 66 years and the disease is uncommon in men under the age of 40.

Reducing the Risk of Prostate Cancer 

Screening and early detection of cancer is recommended and choosing a healthy diet is one the most effective methods of reducing your risk of this disease. 

  • Choose a low fat diet and limit your intake of fatty food each day. Avoid deep fried foods and food such as nuts, meat, and cheese. Instead opt for leaner cuts of meat and go for low fat options of dairy products. 
  • Increase the intake of fresh fruits and vegetables. Both fruits and vegetables are rich in fiber, minerals and vitamins. A high consumption of fruits and vegetables leave little room for fatty foods. 

Erectile Dysfunction 

The condition is not a life-threatening one but is still one of the most common conditions affecting senior men. As many as 40% of the males over the age of 40 experience ED. The condition leads to a reduced quality of life, less enjoyment and increases the likelihood of depression

What to do About it?

Medically, there is no cure of this condition. However,  you can do a lot to improve erectile dysfunction naturally.

  • Exercise and eating right are the two important prerequisites when dealing with any medical condition and erectile dysfunction is not an exception. 
  • Take good care of your blood vessels. Erectile dysfunction is often caused by atherosclerosis, the condition which leads to cardiovascular diseases. By taking care of your blood vessels, you can reduce the risk of erectile dysfunction. 
  • Reduce weight. Maintain a close to ideal weight to minimize the risk of ED.. 
  • Work on strengthening your pelvic muscles by doing specific exercises. 

A healthy life is possible even after 50. Just remember, age is just a number.