Definition: Defining the Meaning of Male Health
Male health is defined as health issues specific to human male anatomy. These often relate to structures such as male genitalia or to conditions caused by hormones specific to, or most notable in, males. In the United States, men's health issues are raised by, among others, Men's Health Network (MHN). MHN is a non-profit educational organization comprising physicians, researchers, public health workers, other health professionals, and individuals. MHN is committed to improving the health and wellness of men, boys, and their families through education campaigns, data collection, surveys, toll-free hotlines, and work with health care providers.
Male members of society have a number of health concerns specific to their gender. Other health concerns males experience are ones that affect not only the male gender. These health issues include Alopecia, Heart Attack, Hypertension, Heart Disease, High Cholesterol, Incontinence, and Urinary Tract Infection. Issues involving Ejaculation, the Prostate, and the Testes are others that males face. Health concerns related to Testosterone deficiency, Alcoholism, Narcotic abuse, Smoking, Obesity, and Stress are additional concerns for males in society today.
(Male Health Check Up - Things Men Should Have Checked in Medical Exam - Ian Langtree - (2013-08-21) http://www.disabled-world.com/health/male/male-check-up.php)
Alopecia is better known as, 'Balding,' or, 'Baldness.' The American Medical Association states that ninety-five percent of persons with baldness have, 'Androgenetic Alopecia,' or, 'Pattern Baldness,' an inherited condition affecting approximately twenty-five percent of the male population. Androgenetic Alopecia affects most of these men before they reach the age of thirty, and two-thirds of all men prior to age sixty. This form of baldness may develop in older adults as well, with a resulting overall thinning of their scalp hair instead of complete baldness. (see our When will I go bald calculator)
The American Heart Association states that Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) is the leading cause of death among Americans. Heart attacks are responsible for one out of every five deaths among American adults. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) states that 1.2 million heart attacks happen every year in America; 460,000 of them result in a fatality. Three-hundred thousand people die every year from a heart attack before they can receive medical attention. One estimate suggests that by 2010, heart disease will be the leading cause of death world-wide.
The force of blood through a person's arteries is known as their, 'Blood Pressure.' When their heart beats it pushes blood through their arteries with a certain amount of force, referred to as their, 'Systolic Blood Pressure.' When the person's heart relaxes after each beat, the force of the blood decreases; this is referred to as their, 'Diastolic Blood Pressure.' Hypertension is a chronically elevated state of pressure in a person's arteries. Persons whose blood pressure is above 120/80 mm Hg are diagnosed with Hypertension.
Hypertension is a risk factor for congestive heart failure, heart disease, impaired vision, stroke, and kidney disease. The higher a person's blood pressure is, the greater the risk the person is at. Hypertension that is untreated can affect all of the person's organ systems, and may shorten the person's life by ten to twenty years.
'Heart Disease,' is a term that may be used to describe any disorder of a person's cardiovascular system which affects their heart's ability to function. Other names for Heart Disease include, 'Coronary Heart Disease (CHD),' 'Cardiovascular Disease,' or, 'Coronary Artery Disease.' Heart Disease causes congestive heart failure, angina pectoris, heart attack, ischemia, and sudden cardiac arrest. Arthrosclerosis is the most common form of heart disease, and is the result of continued narrowing of a person's blood vessels which supply both blood and oxygen to their heart.
Cholesterol is a soft and waxy fat particle that circulates through a person's blood, produced by their liver. Cholesterol is a common steroid, and is an essential building block for cell membranes. Cholesterol is needed for the formation of bile, something that helps people to digest fats, as well as in the formation of hormones, other steroids, and vitamin D. Many of the foods that are popular today contain cholesterol in amounts that the body does not need, increasing levels of it in the person's blood and causing the accumulation of plaque deposits in their arteries. Plaque buildup in a person's arteries can lead to Atherosclerosis, or Coronary Heart Disease, increasing their risk for stroke, heart attack, circulatory issues, and even death. (See our Blood Cholesterol Level Chart)
Enlargement of the prostate or, 'Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH),' is one contributing factor to male incontinence, although there are a number of factors that may contribute to it. Male incontinence may be considered Acute, Temporary, or Chronic. Acute male incontinence occurs suddenly, while Temporary male incontinence is transient. Chronic male incontinence is long-lasting. Male incontinence may be Congenital, in that it is present at the time of the person's birth, or it may be, Acquired,' in that it developed as the result of a disease or an injury the person experienced.
Urinary Tract Infection
Urinary tract infections are common and may occur in men, women or children. A urinary tract infection happens when bacteria enter the opening of a person's urethra and multiply in their urinary tract. A person's urinary tract involves not only their urethra, but their kidneys and bladder. Urinary tract infections that develop into kidney infections can become painful and quite serious.
The clinical term for a cancerous growth on the prostate gland is, 'Adenocarcinoma.' A growing prostate cancer may spread to the interior of the prostate gland and tissues near to the gland, as well as to other, more distant parts of the person's body. Untreated prostate cancer can affect the man's lungs, liver, bones and additional parts of their body. When prostate cancer is confined to the prostate gland, it can often be treated successfully, making prostate examinations very worthwhile.
Enlarged Prostate (BPH)
Growth of the prostate involves hormones, not just prostate cells. The hormones affect various types of tissues, including both glandular and muscular tissues, and affect men differently. Because of the different affects on men, treatment of BPH is individual. Once BPH has begun it will continue in many cases unless therapy is started. There is no cure for BPH. There are two different ways that the prostate grows. One way the prostate grows involves multiplication of cells around the man's urethra, resulting in a,' squeezing,' effect. The second way the prostate may grow is described as, 'middle-lobe prostate growth,' where cells grow into the man's urethra and bladder outlet area, commonly requiring surgical intervention.
Erectile Health Issues
Men may experience some different erectile health issues. One of these issues involves Erectile Dysfunction. Another health issue men may face is Delayed Ejaculation. Premature Ejaculation is a health problem that some men experience. A health care provider can assist men in working with these health-related issues, as well as infertility.
Testicular Health Issues
There are several Testicular health problems that men may experience in life. Testicular Pain, or Scrotal Pain, Epididymitis/Orchitis, and Hydrocele are among the Testicular health concerns men may have. Varicocele, Peyronie's Disease, and Testicular Cancer are others. Men may also experience a Testosterone deficiency. Keeping appointments with a doctor is important, as well as annual physical examinations.
Alcoholism is a chronic disease that is also known as, 'Alcohol Dependence,' and is potentially fatal. Characteristics of an alcoholic include the inability to stop drinking despite psychological, medical or social complications; an increased tolerance for alcohol, drinking in excessive amounts, and the presence of withdrawal symptoms when the person stops drinking. The person may drink when it is dangerous to, such as when they drive, and their drinking may cause family and other social problems. Five times as many men are dependent on alcohol as women in America.
Narcotic abusers have both impaired function and a great amount of interference in their ability to live daily life. They develop social, mental health, and physical health problems that affect not only themselves, but their family members and friends. Estimates place the cost of treating, caring for, and loss of productivity on the part of narcotics users above ten-billion dollars each year; not including the cost of treating narcotic-user related diseases. Slightly more men than women use narcotics in America, particularly in urban areas.
Smoking produces short-term effects such as respiratory illnesses like colds, coughs, pneumonia, and bronchitis. Children exposed to second-hand smoke from adult smokers experience higher rates of ear infections, asthma, and lower respiratory infections than children who live with non-smokers. The long-term effects of smoking are extensive, including a number of diseases that have been linked specifically to smoking. Smoking causes cancers of the lungs, mouth, throat, kidneys, bladder, stomach, pancreas, and cervix. Approximately one-third of all forms of cancer have been linked to smoking and tobacco use in general. Ninety-percent of lung cancers have been linked to smoking. Smoking causes Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Emphysema, and Chronic Bronchitis, and also doubles the risk for stroke.
Persons who are overweight or obese risk developing coronary heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and gallbladder disease, as well as several other forms of illnesses. Obesity increases a person's risk for breathing issues, including asthma and sleep apnea. Persons who are overweight or obese are more likely to experience a stroke, or may suffer from depression or other forms of emotional disorders. The National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey found that ninety-seven million people in America are either overweight or obese.
As human beings we all experience certain amounts of stress. Stress can become an issue when we experience too much of it, and there are descriptions for excessive stress. Stress may be described as, 'Acute,' when it is short term, 'Episodic,' when it is experienced frequently, or, 'Chronic,' when it is experienced over long periods of time. Chronic stress is considered to be a serious condition and often times causes severe emotional and physical symptoms in people. An example of Chronic stress is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) which can follow life-threatening events.
Men's Health Awareness Information
The color of the prostate cancer awareness ribbon is light, or sky blue, and September is proclaimed as National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.
Wear BLUE - Created by Men's Health Network to raise awareness about male health issues.
Men's Health Month - June - Men's Health Month is celebrated across the country with screenings, health fairs, media appearances, and other health education and outreach activities.
Movember - Annual event involving the growing of mustaches during the month of November to raise awareness of men's health issues,such as depression in men, prostate cancer and other male cancers, and associated charities. The Movember Foundation runs the Movember charity event, housed at Movember.com.
U.S. National Men's Health Week - Men's Health Week is celebrated each year as the week leading up to and including Father's Day. This week heightens awareness of preventable health problems and encourages early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys.
Coming Dates for Men's Health Week;
- June 15-21, 2015
- June 13-19, 2016
- June 12-18, 2017
- June 11-17, 2018
- June 10-16, 2019
- June 15-21, 2020
Quick Facts: Male Health
Most men need to pay more attention to their health. Compared to women, men are more likely to:
- Smoke and drink
- Make unhealthy or risky choices
- Put off regular checkups and medical care
- There are also health conditions that only affect men, such as prostate cancer and low testosterone.
Many of the major health risks that men face, like colon cancer or heart disease, can be prevented and treated with early diagnosis. Screening tests such as a Colonoscopy can find diseases early, when they are easier to treat.
The Vienna Declaration:
The Vienna Declaration serves as a plan of action for improving the state of men's health. The main points of the Vienna Declaration are:
- Promoting awareness of men's approach to health
- Connecting health and social policies to better pursue men's health goals
- Creating school and community programs which target boys and young men
- Changing the way health care is provided to be more sensitive towards men's needs
- Recognizing men's health is a critical issue and that there are health issues which only affect men
Statistics: Men's Health
- More than a third (34%) of men aged over 40 years report having one or more reproductive health problems, all being more common amongst older men.
- Emerging research suggests that there are strong links between reproductive health disorders and chronic disease (such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes).
- Testicular cancer is the second most common cancer in men aged from 18 to 39: in 2007, nearly 700 men were diagnosed with testicular cancer. But it is easy to treat and, when found early, nearly all men (over 95 per cent) are cured.
- Most common in older men, about 1 in 7 males over 40 will suffer from problems with their prostate: the most common prostate disease is a non-cancerous growth (enlargement) of the prostate called Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH).
- Klinefelter's Syndrome is the most common chromosomal disorder in men: about one in 650 men have an extra X chromosome, so instead of having the normal 46XY chromosomes in their genes, there are 47XXY or similar variations. It is suspected that as many as three quarters of men with Klinefelter's syndrome are not diagnosed and so remain untreated for life.