Let's talk about men's health

Mens-Health-Week-2014-Flier_Page_1 LET’S TALK ABOUT MEN’S HEALTHThis week is Men’s Health Week. So we want to dedicate this blog to you men out there. Why? Because regardless of your age, the lifestyle changes you make today can reduce your risk of disease and help you lead a healthier life as you grow older.


According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics men have a different attitude towards health and lower life expectancy than women. In fact, men have a higher death rate across all age groups and most of the major causes of death.


The leading cause of death for Australian males is ischaemic heart disease (17%), followed by lung cancer (6.8%) and strokes (6.4%). But right from a young age, men are at greater risk from accidents, violence and suicide. According to the Men’s Health Week Organisation, “Men take their own lives at four times the rate of women – that’s five men a day.”


It’s these statistics that resulted in the Australian Government releasing a National Male Health Policy. It addresses the gender gap and provides a framework for improving the health of all men.


Take a look at the different health risks facing men at each stage of life:



Suicide rates for men are highest in late teens, early twenties and then again from late 60’s onwards. If you’re feeling depressed or anxious, see your doctor or contact Lifeline on 13 11 14. If life is in danger, always call 000.



Take stock of your healthy habits. Quit smoking, be mindful of how much alcohol you consume, have a balanced healthy diet, and make exercise a routine.



If you’ve had problems with blood pressure, weight or cholesterol, now is the time to start testing for diabetes. If you’re lucky not to have it yet, then prevent it as much as you can by adjusting your diet. Reduce sugar and saturated fats and replace with fresh fruit and vegetables instead.



Bowel and prostate cancer rates begin to rise around this age. Keep an eye on any changes in your bowel habits, any rectal bleeding or difficulty in urinating and see your doctor with any concerns. Take advantage of bowel screenings, which are free from 50 onwards.


According to the Australian Heart Foundation, 98 Australian men have a heart attack every day. Understanding your risks is extremely important, so visit your doctor for a Heart Health Check and seek immediate medical help if you have any chest pain or tightness.



As well as the previously mentioned health risks, stroke is something to be watching out for from this age forward. Continue to stay as healthy as possible through diet, exercise and give up any bad habits you still have such as smoking or excessive alcohol intake. Have regular checkups with your doctor and don’t be afraid to let them know if something isn’t feeling quite right.


There are many organisations out there set up to assist men’s health. The Men’s Shed Association is the largest association in Australia focussed on the wellbeing and health of men through community development. Visit http://www.mensshed.org/home/ to find out more or locate your nearest shed.


To find out more about Men’s Health Week, visit the website: www.menshealthweek.org.au


This information is not from a medical practitioner and does not replace medical advice.