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Men and Heart Disease

  • Category: Blog
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Kirby Medical Center

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How Cardiovascular Disease Affects Men

According to the CDC, heart disease is the number one leading cause of death for American men. With more than 350,000 male deaths being attributed to heart disease annually, that means 1 in 4 men who die each year are at the hands of cardiovascular disease.

Because many men who suddenly die from heart disease showed no symptoms beforehand, this condition is often called the "silent killer." With such high statistics and a lack of warning signs, men need to be vigilant when looking after their heart health.

In light of Men's Health Month, the health experts at Kirby Medical Center are here to share some tips to help reduce that risk.

Risk Factors

Being Overweight or Obese

Being overweight or obese means that a person’s weight has surpassed what is considered normal for their height. About 2 in 3 American adults are considered to be overweight or obese.

Being overweight or obese increases your risk for the following heart-related health complications:

  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Heart attack

To effectively lose and maintain a healthy weight, it is important to make the following lifestyle changes:

  • Try to get at least 150 minutes (2.5 hours) of moderate physical activity each week.
  • Build a balanced diet.
  • Limit alcohol consumption to one drink a day.

If you have concerns about weight, be sure to speak with your doctor about your BMI and check your cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Having Type 2 Diabetes

Men are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes at a lower weight than women because men tend to carry their weight in their midsections. Unfortunately, men are also more likely to go undiagnosed and untreated. When left unaddressed, diabetes puts men at a higher risk for the following cardiovascular issues:

  • Heart disease
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke

If you think you may be at risk for type 2 diabetes or you already have it, be sure to speak with your doctor about if you should be tested for diabetes and how to manage your current condition.

Smoking & Using Tobacco

Smoking and using tobacco products is the most preventable risk factor when it comes to heart-related health issues. Smoking and inhaling second-hand smoke increases your risk for the following cardiovascular health issues:

  • Increases triglyceride levels.
  • Lower “good” cholesterol levels.
  • Makes blood stickier and more likely to clot.
  • Causes damage to the cells lining blood vessels.
  • Increases plaque buildup in blood vessels.
  • Thickens and narrows blood vessels.
  • Increased risk for cardiac events like heart attack and stroke.

To effectively reduce your risk of heart-health issues, it is recommended that you quit smoking or not start in the first place.

Contact Kirby Medical Center

At Kirby Medical Center, we are dedicated to helping our community learn how to stay healthy and safe. If you are concerned about your health risks and the types of vaccines that are right for you, contact Kirby Medical Center at 217-762-2115 to learn more about how we can assist with all your healthcare needs.