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Helping men age well

June 25, 2024
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Black man wearing a tan shirt, sitting in a gray chair, smiling. Black woman wearing blue scrubs holding his hand on his shoulder.

In the United States, life expectancy for men is about 6 years shorter than women. Men are less likely to seek preventative care and more likely to not have a primary care provider.

Men also tend to engage in riskier health behaviors, such as using tobacco, alcohol, or drugs. Healthy lifestyle choices can help reduce the likelihood of some of the leading causes of death.

At CCA, our team works closely with our members to provide personalized care that addresses all of their medical, mental health, and social support needs. By delivering patient-focused, community driven care, we aim to help those we serve age well and live safely and independently in their homes and communities for as long as possible.

To support the healthy aging of men, our clinical team is sharing four key tips to keep in mind:

Learn about prostate health.

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men and the second-leading cause of cancer death in the United States. While the cause is unknown, there are several risk factors to watch for:

There are routine screenings to detect prostate cancer early. Talk to your doctor to find out how often you should be screened and what type of screening is right for you.

Keep up with your heart health.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men in the United States. Men have a higher risk of heart disease than women. They may also develop heart disease earlier than women.

Some risk factors for heart disease are age, family history or other health conditions. Lifestyle choices including, diet, exercise, tobacco, and alcohol use are also significant risk factors. Talk to your healthcare provider about your risks.

Don’t neglect your mental health.

Depression can affect people of all ages, ethnicities, races, and genders, but it looks different for everyone. Men who are depressed may appear to be angry, irritable or aggressive instead of sad. Because of this, men may be less likely to recognize or talk about how they’re feeling or to seek help. This puts men at greater risk of their depression symptoms being undiagnosed or undertreated

Depression not only impacts mental health, but also has links to physical health. Men who are depressed may lack the motivation or energy to eat a healthy diet, exercise, take their medications, socialize with family or friends, or attend doctors’ visits. Stress and anxiety can also raise blood pressure levels, increasing the risk for heart attacks. Chronic stress can also affect heart health by impacting sleep and even damaging arteries.

Screen for colon cancer.

Colon cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in the United States. Doctors recommend colon cancer screenings beginning at the age of 45. Not everyone who has colon cancer has symptoms. If left untreated, colon cancer can spread to other areas of the body.

Men are slightly more at risk for colon cancer than women. Age, racial and ethnic backgrounds, family history, and health history are also risk factors. However, more than half of colon cancers are linked to lifestyle choices. Staying physically active, eating a healthy diet, limiting alcohol, and not smoking can lower your risk.

Healthy lifestyle choices are key to preventing many health conditions. It is also important to keep up with routine visits to your healthcare provider and recommended screenings and tests.

And don’t forget to pay attention to your mental health. Self-care is vital to staying motivated to keep up with your physical health.

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