Top Health Conditions Men Are At Risk For

Men are more likely to die from most of the leading causes of death in the United States than women. It is unclear exactly why this is, but it is partially due to biological factors and partially due to personal lifestyle choices. On average, men die five years earlier than women. It’s important for men to know about the diseases many of them are dying of every day. By changing certain lifestyle habits and using preventive measures to ensure early detection, many lives can be saved. Here are the top health threats men should know about:


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    Heart Disease

    • Leading cause of death for men in the United States, killing 307,225 men in 2009 – 1 in every 4 male deaths.
    • 50% of men who die of heart disease have no previous symptoms.
    • Between 70% and 89% of sudden cardiac events occur in men.
    • Leading risk factors: High LDL cholesterol, high blood pressure, smoking, and diabetes are some of the risk factors for heart disease. 
  1. Stroke
    • Third leading cause of death in the United States.
    • Stroke death rates are higher for African-Americans than for whites, even at younger ages.
    • Each year, about 795,000 people suffer a stroke.
    • Leading risk factors: High blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, carotid or other artery disease, atrial fibrillation or other heart disease, TIAs (mini-strokes), high red blood cell count, sickle cell anemia, high cholesterol, physical inactivity, obesity, excessive alcohol intake and some illegal drugs.

  1. Cancer
    • Lung Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Testicular Cancer
    • Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in men. 90% is caused by smoking.
    • Prostate cancer and skin cancer are the most common types of cancer.
    • Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the U.S. and the third most common cancer in men and women.
    • Leading risk factors: Race (African-Americans have highest risk for prostate cancer), obesity, smoking, age, and family history of cancer are just some of the most common risk factors.
  1. Diabetes
    • 1 million people in the United States have diabetes, and 8.1 million may be undiagnosed and unaware of their condition.
    • 7 million new cases of diabetes were diagnosed in U.S. adults in 2012.
    • Leading risk factors: Obesity, physical inactivity, family history, race (African-Americans, Hispanics, American Indians and Asian-Americans are at higher risk), age, and high blood pressure.
  1. Depression and Suicide
    • Highest among white males.
    • Four times higher among men than women.
    • Eight leading cause of death among men; higher for younger men.
    • Leading risk factors: Mental health conditions, substance abuse, or serious or chronic health conditions.
  1. Erectile dysfunction
    • Two-thirds of men older than 70 and up to 39% of 40-year-old men have problems with erectile dysfunction.
    • Leading risk factors: Most often caused by atherosclerosis, damaged nerves after surgery, neurological or psychological factors, certain medications, or chronic illness.
  1. COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)
    • 80-90% of COPD deaths are caused by smoking.
    • Men are nearly 12 times as likely to die from COPD then men who don’t smoke.
    • Leading risk factors: Smoking.
  1. Kidney Disease
    • More than 26 million American adults have chronic kidney disease and millions more are at risk and don’t know it.
    • Leading risk factors: Diabetes, high blood pressure, and family history.

Sources: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, National Institute of Health, CDC, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Mayo Clinic, National Kidney Foundation, Stroke Center, WebMD

David Samadi, MD - Medical Contributor

View posts by David Samadi, MD - Medical Contributor
Dr. Samadi is a board-certified urologic oncologist trained in open and traditional and laparoscopic surgery and is an expert in robotic prostate surgery. He is chairman of urology, chief of robotic surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital and professor of urology at Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine. He is a medical correspondent for the Fox News Channel's Medical A-Team. Learn more at Visit Dr. Samadi's blog at Follow Dr. Samadi on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook.


  1. Sam DrexlerApril 14, 2015

    Dr. Samadi, I’m concerned about the high rate of depression among men, especially young men and curious about learning more. Can you explain what you have researched that accounts for this trend?

  2. nateApril 20, 2015

    Hey Sam, obviously I am not a doctor but from my experience and living in this country I can say that I know for young men, it is expected and even encouraged to bottle up feelings which can lead a lot of times to depression. A major cause of depression can be the built up tension from bottling such feelings for so long.

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