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Digital Subscriptions > Healthy Food Guide > June 2019 > These simple checks can ADD I YEARS TO YOUR LIFE

These simple checks can ADD I YEARS TO YOUR LIFE

Do you often take your health for granted? If you’re a man, that’s not unusual. Jo Waters looks at how men can reduce their risk of dying too young

MEN’S HEALTH REPORT

SHOCKINGLY, ONE IN FIVE UK MEN DIES before they reach retirement age, and two in five before the age of 75. Worldwide, men are 50% more likely to die of cancer than women – often because they don’t seek help early enough. ‘Men generally need to be dragged to their GP, and it’s usually their partner who initiates the appointment,’ says GP Dr David Edwards, past president of the British Society of Sexual Medicine. ‘Some men will joke that they “never bother a doctor”, but that’s not necessarily a good thing if they’ve been ignoring symptoms.

‘Once men see a GP, though, I generally find they’re not bad at following advice. There are so many conditions where early diagnosis can make a big difference, and many of them are interrelated – for instance, erectile dysfunction may be an early warning of heart disease or type 2 diabetes or a symptom of a hormone condition. It’s so important that men come and see their doctors more regularly.’ All the more reason to take steps to safeguard our health. Use this checklist as a starting point…

ASSESS YOUR HEART ATTACK & STROKE RISK

HEART AND CIRCULATORY DISEASE currently affects 3.5 million men in the UK, including an estimated 640,000 heart attack survivors. Heart disease causes nearly 160,000 deaths a year – a quarter of all deaths in the UK.

WHO’S AT RISK? Those who have high blood pressure or raised cholesterol are more likely to develop heart disease. Other factors include having type 2 diabetes, being overweight or obese, smoking, a sedentary lifestyle and a family history of deaths from heart attack before age 65. Having a waist measurement of 35in or more for Asian men or 37in or more for black and white men is also a risk factor.

SYMPTOMS High blood pressure and raised cholesterol may not show any symptoms, which is why it’s so important to know your blood pressure and cholesterol numbers. Sometimes people with blocked arteries will suffer from angina pain in the chest that radiates to the jaw, back, neck and arms, usually during exercise. If this is suspected, you may have an angiogram test to see if any arteries are blocked. Depending on the result, you may be given stents to keep the artery open. In some cases, a by-pass operation is needed. Nitrate sprays can also dilate blood vessels if you suffer from angina on exertion. Often there are no warning signs, however, and a heart attack is the first event.

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About Healthy Food Guide

How low would you go to lose the belly? We investigate the trend and latest evidence for short, drastic calorie-cutting diets. We’ve also done the nutrition on some favourite Pinch of Nom recipes, and have great news for barbecue, pub and picnic lovers, with clever swaps for a summer of delicious healthy outdoor eating. And don’t miss our men’s health special, revealing the simple checks that could add 10 years to his life.