• Consumer Health: Men’s health threats and strategies for healthier living

a smiling middle-aged father and his adult son, sitting outside, each with an arm around the shoulders of the other

Do you know the greatest threats to men's health? Do you know what you can do to lower your risks and lead a longer, healthier life? June is Men's Health Month, which makes this a good time to explore these topics.

Three of the top causes of death among men in the U.S. are heart disease, cancer and stroke, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Other top causes include unintentional injuries and chronic lower respiratory disease. The good news is that making a few lifestyle changes can significantly lower your risk of these common killers.

Heart disease encompasses a range of conditions that affect your heart, including blood vessel disease, such as coronary artery disease; heart rhythm problems, or arrhythmias; congenital heart defects; and heart valve disease.

The leading causes of cancer death in men in the U.S. are lung cancer, prostate cancer, and colon and rectal cancers, according to the CDC. Treatment for certain cancers can affect your sexuality, causing a range of signs and symptoms that can make sex with your partner more difficult.

The risk of stroke is higher for men than for women, and high blood pressure ― the major risk factor for stroke ― affects 47% of men in the U.S. You can have high blood pressure for years without any symptoms. Fortunately, high blood pressure can easily be detected through blood pressure readings. Once you know you have high blood pressure, you can work with your health care provider to control it.

Additional health risks for men include depression and excessive use of alcohol. There also are health concerns specific to gay and trans men.

If you're worried about your health, it's important to be proactive. Take control by talking with your health care provider about your risk factors. Then get serious about reducing your risk.

Here's what you need to know to live a longer, healthier life.

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