STATE COLLEGE According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), men in the United States are most commonly victim to seven chronic, deadly health conditions and some may surprise you.
The CDC recently released its latest data pertaining to the leading causes of death in men in the United States. The seven leading causes of death are:
- Heart disease (25.7 percent of deaths)
- Cancer (24.3 percent of deaths)
- Accidents (6.6 percent of deaths)
- Chronic respiratory disease (5.1 percent of deaths)
- Stroke (4.5 percent of deaths)
- Diabetes (2.9 percent of deaths) and
- Depression/suicide (2.3 percent of deaths)
"Many of the health conditions men face, such as heart disease, cancer and respiratory disease, are issues we have known about for some time and are knowledgeable about how treat them," said Raymond Nungesser, M.D., regional medical director, community practice service line, Geisinger Health System. "But when we see accidents and suicide so high on the list, it brings to light new issues men are facing today."
Dr. Nungesser noted that simple lifestyle changes can help prevent or slow the progression of some of the most common health problems men face. Diet, weight control and smoking cessation are simple solutions to help avoid many cases of heart disease, cancer, respiratory disease, stroke and diabetes. What is more alarming to Dr. Nungesser, however, is the prevalence of depression among United States men.
"Society tends to dictate that men are too strong or too unemotional to suffer from depression," said Dr. Nunegesser. "But in reality, these statistics show that depression in men is a serious health problem. It's important for men and their families to recognize the warning signs of depression, such as anger, loss of energy and lacking enthusiasm, and seek out treatment before something as severe as suicide could occur."
According to Dr. Nungesser, the most important weapon in defending against these chronic illnesses that plague men is regular checkups with their physician. Primary care physicians are knowledgeable about their patients' overall health and can identify warning signs for almost all the major health problems men face.