MayoClinic.com Examines Top 10 Health Threats for Men

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Factors that most threaten men's lives are largely preventable. A new article on MayoClinic.com explores the 10 leading killers of American men. The article offers advice on prevention and risk-reduction strategies, as well as perspective on how other factors, such as ethnicity and age, can affect men's health risks.

A new article on MayoClinic.com explores the 10 leading killers of American men. The article offers advice on prevention and risk-reduction strategies, as well as perspective on how other factors, such as ethnicity and age, can affect men's health risks.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2003 (the most recent year for which CDC statistics are available) nearly 80 percent of male deaths could be attributed to just 10 causes. Heart disease and cancer top the list, accounting for over half of the male deaths that year.

The 10 leading killers include:

-- Heart disease

-- Cancer

-- Unintentional injuries

-- Stroke

-- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

-- Diabetes

-- Influenza and pneumonia

-- Suicide

-- Kidney disease

-- Alzheimer's disease

Statistics highlighted in the story show men are at higher risk of premature death than are women in most categories. Though it's unclear exactly why, men have a shorter life span than women. A man's life expectancy in America is 5.3 years less than the average woman's.

Inherited traits and male sex hormones may play a role, affecting characteristics such as body fat distribution. Certain lifestyle behaviors may also predispose men to premature death. CDC statistics show that men are more likely to smoke, drink, use illicit drugs and engage in casual sex than are women. All of these behaviors can increase the risk of serious diseases. Males are also more likely to take risks and behave aggressively, which may partly explain why they have a higher risk of dying from accidents, suicide and homicide.

The good news is that by recognizing how these factors affect their lives, men can take steps to significantly reduce their risks of premature death from these common causes. For information on these conditions and more, visit the Men's Health Center at http://www.MayoClinic.com.

About MayoClinic.com

Launched in 1995 and now visited by nearly 9 million users a month, this award-winning consumer Web site offers health information, self-improvement, and disease management tools to empower people to manage their health. Produced by a team of Web professionals and medical experts working side by side, MayoClinic.com gives users access to the experience and knowledge of the more than 2,000 physicians and scientists at Mayo Clinic. MayoClinic.com offers users intuitive, easy access tools such as "Symptom Checker" and "First-Aid Guide" for fast answers about health conditions ranging from common to complex; as well as more in-depth sections on over 25 common diseases and conditions, a wealth of healthy living articles, videos, animations and features such as "Ask a Specialist" and "Drug Watch." Users can sign up for a free weekly e-newsletter, "Housecall," which provides the latest health information from Mayo Clinic. For more information, visit http://www.mayoclinic.com.

To obtain the latest news releases from Mayo Clinic, go to http://www.mayoclinic.org/news. MayoClinic.com (http://www.mayoclinic.com) is available as a resource for your health stories.

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Ginger Plumbo
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