Dr Lim Jye Wey, Primary Care Doctor

1 June, 2023

Men's health in different stages of life

Men’s health, as they journey through life, they face a wide range of health challenges that can affect their well-being and quality of life. From hypertension in their early years to the risk of lung and colorectal cancer in their later years, it’s important for men to stay vigilant and proactive about their health. With the right knowledge and preventative measures, men can stay ahead of potential health problems and live their lives to the fullest. So, let’s take a closer look at some of the most common health concerns for men at different stages of their lives.

Men's health above 18 years old

Hypertension is a common health problem, and its incidence increases with age. According to the Malaysia Ministry of Health Clinical Practice Guidelines for Management of Hypertension, it is recommended to check blood pressure as part of routine health screening for everyone above 18 years old, as hypertension can often go undiagnosed. This is particularly important for those who have a family history of hypertension or heart disease, smoke, are obese, or have other risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as diabetes.

Men's health above 40 years old

Heart disease and stroke are major health concerns according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Men are at higher risk for heart disease compared to women, and it is essential to identify and manage risk factors early on to prevent heart disease. Routine health screening, including assessments of body weight, body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, and blood tests like fasting blood sugar and lipid profiles, are recommended. Additional tests such as exercise stress tests, echocardiograms, carotid intima-media thickness tests, coronary artery calcium scores, and CT coronary angiograms are available to detect heart disease.

Stroke is another major concern for men of age 40 and above, and it is important to identify risk factors such as smoking, alcohol consumption, hypertension, obesity, and diabetes early on to prevent the development of stroke.

Men's health above 50 years old

Lung cancer and colorectal cancer become significant health risks. Smoking is a major risk factor for lung cancer, and men are at higher risk due to their higher smoking rates. Quit smoking can lower the risk of developing lung cancer. The US Preventive Services Task Force recommends yearly lung cancer screening with low-dose CT thorax for people who have a smoking history of 20 pack-years or more, are between 50 and 80 years old, and currently smoke or quit smoking within the last 15 years.

Additionally, for colorectal cancer, the risk increases as men age. Routine colonoscopy screenings every ten years are recommended for male adults aged 45 to 75 who have no increased risk for colorectal cancer, such as those with inflammatory bowel disease, personal or family history of colorectal cancer or polyps. However, for those with increased risk, more frequent colorectal cancer-related screenings may be necessary.

In conclusion, men of all ages should prioritise their health and take proactive steps to prevent and detect potential health problems early. In fact, by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, getting regular check-ups and screenings, and being aware of potential risks, men can improve their chances of living a longer, healthier life. So, let’s encourage the men in our lives to take control of their health and make their well-being a top priority. After all, a healthy man is a happy man!