Exploring men’s health – can a private health check help?

Posted in , , by Echelon Health

Movember is known well throughout the world as the month where people raise awareness for men’s health. Over the years it has become more geared towards prostate cancer, however, that is not its only focus.

Men’s health encompasses everything across all ages and all conditions including mental health which gets overlooked compared to diseases such as cancer or coronary heart disease.

This Movember it’s important to encourage men to take control of their health. Good health is key to living a long and happy life, so this article will break down some shocking statistics about men’s health and what you can do to allow yourself peace of mind.

  1. 50% of men over the age of 50 develop an enlarged prostate

Research has found that enlarged prostates occur in one-third of men in their 50s and 60s (McVary, 2006, Kirby, 2013).

While this is quite a common problem for older men, the general knowledge surrounding the prostate gland is not common. An enlarged prostate is not a life-threatening condition, it can cause other symptoms:

  • Frequent urination
  • Weak urine flow
  • Difficulty starting/stopping urination
  • Feeling urgency when needing the toilet
  • Feeling that your bladder has not emptied

If you have any of these symptoms you should go see your doctor as soon as you can because an enlarged prostate shares symptoms with prostate cancer which is a more serious illness that claimed 11,855 people between 20016-2018 (Cancer Research UK, 2021).

  1. Men have higher mortality rates

In the UK one in five men dies before reaching the age of 65. In England and Wales, 19% of all male deaths were aged 65 and under, and 38% were 75 and under (Men’s health forum, 2017).

The biggest cause of death in men is cancer, with prostate cancer being the most common. However, men are also susceptible to other cancers too (Men’s health forum, 2013).

In the UK, if you are aged between 40 and 74 years old, you are entitled to a free NHS health check where you can find out if you are statistically at risk of developing certain health issues such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke and more (NHS, 2019).

This is a great start if you are interested in looking after your health long-term.

  1. 1 in 8 men are reported to have mental health problems (McManus et al., 2016)

Mental health affects men and women, however, there are some significant differences. Anxiety, depression, and stress are three of the more common mental health issues that are found among men.

Unfortunately, men are less likely to seek help, and this, of course, extends to talking about mental health. Generally, women have longer life spans due to seeking help when it comes to their health. In the US 57% of those aged 65+ are female. By age 85 it rises to 67% (Shmerling, 2020).

Suicide rates for men in the UK further prove this. Men are three times more likely to take their own lives. This is most common among those aged 45-49 years old (Samaritans, 2020).

These statistics demonstrate the mental health crisis that men face. There are many resources available and should be encouraged to seek help just as women are.

  1. More men die from coronary heart disease in the UK

Apart from cancer, heart disease is another common cause of death among men. In the UK, one in seven men dies from coronary heart disease (CHD) (BHF, 2021).

More men are living with CHD in the UK – only 1 million women, compared to 1.6 million men. According to a Harvard Health Publication, men are more likely to die from CHD at a younger age (Shmerling, 2020).

According to the NHS, CHD (also known as ischemic heart disease) happens when the supply of blood to the heart is disrupted due to blockages. This can be from a build-up of fatty substances or calcium deposits in the arteries. Over time this furring up of arteries can cause heart attacks or other problems (NHS, 2020).

Heart disease is typically associated with various lifestyle factors including smoking, obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure.

  1. 1 in 10 men has diabetes

In England, it is estimated that 9.6% of men have type 1 diabetes (Men’s health forum, 2021a). Additionally, men are 26% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes later in life. Unfortunately, due to this, they are more likely to also suffer complications such as amputations.

Diabetes UK found that nine out of ten people who are diagnosed have type 2. Further, they found that nearly 1 million people may have diabetes but are unaware of this as it has not been diagnosed (Diabetes UK, 2018).

Obesity and being overweight is one of the most common causes of type 2 diabetes. According to Men’s Health Forum, men are more likely to be overweight; they are less likely to be aware that they are overweight and take action to prevent that (Men’s health forum, 2017a).

Weight may be the most common reason for developing diabetes, but there are other factors you should look out for including activity levels, family history and high blood pressure.

Men’s health at Echelon Health

One question these statistics raise, is ‘why do men have a higher mortality rate?’. Unfortunately, the answer is found among stereotypes. Stereotypes are sometimes founded on some level of truth. In the case of these statistics, it is a fact – men are reluctant to talk to their doctors because they do not wish to acknowledge their health may be poor and that they require help (Men’s health forum, 2021).

According to a Cleveland Clinic Survey, one in five men admitted that they were not fully honest with their doctor. This was due to embarrassment, discomfort or other reasons (Lanzito, 2019).

At Echelon Health we are proud to encourage everyone to speak up about their health. We provide excellent customer service and make sure our clients are always comfortable and taken care of by professionals in every part of their journey.

Not only that, but we offer private health assessments that use state of the art imaging technology. This includes CT, MRI and Ultrasound scanners which show us the inside of your body with great detail – we can detect abnormalities as small as 2-3mm!

Our comprehensive Platinum Assessment covers everything from head to toe and allows us to assess for up to 92% of preventable causes of death among men (and 94% in women). However, if you have specific concerns, we also offer the Core Cancer or Healthy Heart assessment which focus on specific cancers such as prostate, colon, lung cancer and more, or heart diseases.

We also offer a bespoke option that can be discussed with our team based on your individual needs.

The benefits of a health assessment are many — you can read about them here – and depending on your results, you may not need to repeat the assessment for four years. To book your assessment contact us here or check out our body map which provides insight into all scans we use and diseases we can detect.

 

 

 

Sources:

McVary, K. T. (2006). BPH: epidemiology and comorbidities. The American journal of managed care12(5 Suppl), S122-8.

Kirby, R. (2013). Management of lower urinary tract symptoms in BPH. Prescriber24(21), 21-27.

Cancer Research UK (2021). Prostate cancer statistics. Available at: https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/health-professional/cancer-statistics/statistics-by-cancer-type/prostate-cancer (Accessed 29/10/2021).

Men’s health forum (2017). Key data: Mortality. Available at: https://www.menshealthforum.org.uk/key-data-mortality (Accessed 29/10/2021).

Men’s health forum (2013). Key data: Cancer and circulatory diseases. Available at: https://www.menshealthforum.org.uk/key-data-cancer-and-circulatory-diseases (Accessed 29/10/2021).

Men’s health forum (2021). Key data: Understanding of health and access to services. Available at: https://www.menshealthforum.org.uk/key-data-understanding-health-and-access-services (Accessed 29/10/2021).

Lanzito, C. (2019). Why Men Don’t go to the Doctor. Available at: https://www.aarp.org/health/healthy-living/info-2019/survey-men-avoiding-doctors.html#:~:text=Common%20reasons%20included%20embarrassment%20or,t%20want%20to%20be%20judged. (Accessed 29/10/2021).

NHS (2019). NHS Health Check. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/nhs-health-check/ (Accessed 29/10/2021).

McManus S, Bebbington P, Jenkins R, Brugha T. (eds.) (2016). Mental health and wellbeing in England: Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey 2014. Leeds: NHS Digital. Available at: https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/ukgwa/20171010183932tf_/http://content.digital.nhs.uk/catalogue/PUB21748/apms-2014-full-rpt.pdf (Accessed 29/10/2021).

Shmerling, H. R., (2020). Why men often die earlier than women. Available at: https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/why-men-often-die-earlier-than-women-201602199137 (Accessed 29/10/2021).

Samaritans (2020). Latest suicide data. Available at: https://www.samaritans.org/about-samaritans/research-policy/suicide-facts-and-figures/latest-suicide-data/ (Accessed 29/10/2021).

BHF (2021). Heart statistics. Available at: https://www.bhf.org.uk/what-we-do/our-research/heart-statistics (Accessed 29/10/2021).

NHS (2020). Coronary heart disease. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronary-heart-disease/ (Accessed 29/10/2021).

Men’s health forum (2021a). One in Ten: The male diabetes Crisis. Available at: https://www.menshealthforum.org.uk/one-ten-male-diabetes-crisis (Accessed 29/10/2021).

Diabetes UK (2018). Number of people living with diabetes doubles in twenty years. Available at: https://www.diabetes.org.uk/about_us/news/diabetes-prevalence-statistics (Accessed 29/10/2021).

Men’s health forum (2017a). Key data: Diet, weight and diabetes. Available at: https://www.menshealthforum.org.uk/key-data-diet-weight-and-diabetes (Accessed 29/10/2021).