Men’s Health Week is celebrated in Canada and internationally from June 11-17. A key goal is to raise awareness about men’s health risks and what men can do to maintain health during their retirement years.
In 2017, the average life expectancy for Canadian men was projected to be four years less than for women, reports Statistics Canada. Canadian men are 57% more likely to die from diabetes than women, 54% more likely to die from kidney disorders, and more than twice as likely to die from liver disease, according the Canadian Men’s Health Foundation (CMHF).
Canadian men are also twice as likely to suffer a heart attack as women, says the Public Health Agency of Canada.
Men’s health conditions often preventable
More than 80% of Canadian men 65 and over have at least one chronic health condition, says Statistics Canada. The good news is that 70% of men’s health conditions are preventable through small lifestyle changes, according to CMHF.
Here are some tips to help men reduce or manage health risks:
1. Lower prostate cancer risk. Reduce risk by eating foods that are low in fat, eating less red or processed meat, and maintaining a healthy body weight, says the Canadian Cancer Society.
2. Keep your heart healthy. Cut the risk of heart attack by being physically active, choosing good nutrition, reducing stress, limiting alcohol, and not smoking, says Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada.
3. Lose belly fat. Men of normal weight, with big bellies, were twice as likely to die prematurely as obese men, according to a Mayo Clinic study. Belly fat is especially unhealthy and increases the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, colorectal cancer and sleep apnea.
4. Prevent kidney problems. Reduce risk by lowering high blood pressure, preventing or controlling diabetes, exercising regularly, and limiting salt and alcohol consumption, says the National Kidney Foundation.
5. Visit your doctor regularly. Men are less likely than women to seek medical help, says University of Ottawa. See your doctor for annual check-ups and health screenings, or if you’re not feeling well.