Life expectancy for men is less than that for women, but, fortunately, lifestyle changes, such as eating a healthy diet, getting exercise, avoiding injury, and seeing a physician regularly, can improve men’s longevity and well-being.
In honor of Men’s Health Month, take the accompanying quiz to test how much you know about men’s health overall. Some of the answers may surprise you.
1) Cancer is the leading cause of death in men.
2) The most common type of cancer for males worldwide is:
3) Men can lower their risk of getting cancer by:
a) Not smoking
b) Limiting alcohol intake
c) Wearing sunscreen and hats
d) All of the above
4) Men need about one hour of physical activity weekly to stay in good health.
5) Testosterone levels always diminish as men age.
6) Men gain belly fat faster than women.
7) Men do not suffer from eating disorders.
8) Heart attack risk increases at what age in men?
9) The fourth-leading cause of death, after heart disease, cancer, and unintentional injuries, for black males in America is:
c) Kidney disease
10) Men cannot get breast cancer.
11) Men and women die from suicide at the same rate.
12) At what age should men get their first cholesterol screening?
13) Which of the following are typical behaviors of men who are experiencing depression?
a) They will become angry, irritable, or aggressive.
b) They will talk to a friend and seek counseling.
c) They will turn to drugs and alcohol.
d) Both A and C.
14) Most men with the sexually transmitted disease human papillomavirus (HPV) have no symptoms.
15) According to the CDC, which of the following is not a way to lose weight?
a) Avoid buffet-style meals
b) Do not bring home food from restaurants
c) Sleep less
d) Cook your own food
Answers: 1) False. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in American males. Regular blood pressure and cholesterol screenings, controlling diabetes, avoiding smoking, and maintaining a healthy weight are ways to improve the risk. 2) b. Lung cancer is most common worldwide, killing more men than the next three common cancers (prostate, colorectal, and pancreatic) combined. 3) d. Not smoking, drinking in moderation, and wearing sun protection all help reduce cancer in men. 4) False. Men and women need at least 2.5 hours of moderate physical activity each week, to include both aerobic and muscle-strengthening exercises. 5) False. Many older men have testosterone levels equal to those of younger men, while others have much lower levels. Lower testosterone levels do not mean a man is in poor health. 6) True. Testosterone leads to midsection weight gain in males. 7) False. Men and boys also suffer from eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating. In fact, one in three people with eating disorders is male. 8) c. Heart attack risk in men begins at age 45, nearly 10 years earlier than in women. 9) d. Homicide. 5 percent of black men in the United States die from homicide, which is the leading cause of death in black men between the ages of 15 and 44. 10) False. Not only can men get breast cancer, but they have a higher mortality rate than women with breast cancer. 11) False, men die from suicide at a higher rate than women: over 3.5 times more often. 12) a. 35 is the age when men should have their cholesterol checked for the first time. 13) d. Men are less likely than women to recognize their depression, talk to someone about it, and seek help, but they may lash out at others and turn to drugs and alcohol. 14) True. Males who are infected with HPV rarely have symptoms and the infection usually goes away on its own, but if HPV does not go away, it can cause genital warts and cancer even years after contracting it. Fortunately, a vaccine is available. 15) c. Too little sleep increases hunger and appetite, and it triggers stress hormones that encourage a body to hang on to fat.
Sources: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, https://www.eatright.org/health/diseases-and-conditions/eating-disorders/eating-disorders-also-affect-boys-and-men; American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, https://afsp.org/suicide-statistics/; CDC: Cancer in Men, https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/dcpc/resources/features/cancerandmen/; CDC: Diabetes, Healthy Weight, https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/managing/healthy-weight.html; CDC: Health Equity, https://www.cdc.gov/healthequity/lcod/men/2017/nonhispanic-black/index.htm; CDC: Human Papillomavirus, https://www.cdc.gov/std/hpv/stdfact-hpv-and-men.htm; Mayo Clinic, Heart Attack, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heart-attack/symptoms-causes/syc-20373106; National Cancer Institute: Cancer Statistics, https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/understanding/statistics, https://www.cancer.gov/news-events/cancer-currents-blog/2019/male-breast-cancer-higher-mortality; National Institute of Mental Health, Men and Depression, https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/men-and-depression/index.shtml