By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant
The average New York male has a life expectancy of 77.92 years, according to www.worldlifeexpectancy.com, compared with 82.79 for women. It’s understandable that men’s life expectancy tends to be shorter than women’s. Many male-dominated occupations such as commercial fishing, forestry, farming, construction and electric line workers tend to be high risk occupations.
Men also tend to engage in riskier hobbies at higher rates than women and riskier behavior in general, such as performing stunts, smoking and using illicit drugs. Men don’t tend to maintain regular doctor visits and ask about health screenings.
Three local doctors offer suggestion for a longer and healthy life
1. Work on cancer prevention. One out of nine men are diagnosed with prostate cancer and that can impact men’s health because of chronic morbidity and coping with the disease aftermath. Healthy weight and diet are important for cancer prevention. A few anti-inflammatory things can help, like improving vitamin D and vitamin E levels. Eat enough eggs, fish and fortified foods like milk. Relatively safe exposure to sunlight helps with D. Lypocene-rich foods like tomatoes, watermelon and apricots show good association with improving men’s help and suppressing things that stimulate cancer growth.
2. “Omega-3 fatty acids show variable evidence at this point in reducing risk of heart disease and prostate cancer. There’s low relative risk in taking it.
3. “Try to see what you can do to improve mental health. Many articles talk about the rise of depression and suicide, and not necessarily only men. Mental health for men is still very under-served. Men need to be more open about it to talk with loved ones and with primary care providers. Depression affects sleep and ability to function at work and their ability to feel motivated to eat well and exercise. The mind/body connection is very, very strong. If we don’t correlate mental health with physical health, we’re not whole.
4. “Maintain a good weight through exercise and nutrition, as it’s good for health. It decreases risk of arthritis, improves cardiovascular health and wellness and decreases cancer risk.
• Joanne Wu, is an integrative and holistic medicine and rehabilitation physician who practices in Buffalo.
5. “It’s lifestyle. The tenets of a healthy lifestyle are optimal nutrition, sufficient exercise, adequate sleep, social connections, stress management and an attitude of gratitude.
6. “Getting adequate sleep boosts the immune system function. Deprivation tends to be linked with increases in diabetes and weight gain. It’s based upon data. The ability to manage stress tends to increase as someone gets adequate sleep.
7. “As for social connections, good data says dementia is less likely in someone with a robust social connection. Cancer outcomes are better for people with a robust social connection, too.
8. “Stress management helps us maintain optimal adrenal function. It’s population-based data. People who stay stressed tend to develop chronic diseases.
9. “I’m skeptical that any supplement or pill is likely to increase longevity. A few preventive dietary supplements can help maintain better health. I recommend co-enzyme Q10, fish oil, a multivitamin, and vitamin D in winter for healthy people. Taking these increases the likelihood of staying in good health, but not longevity. They likely decrease morbidity but don’t decrease the mortality rate.”
• Physician Sanford Levy, practices integrative medicine in Buffalo.
10. Avoid cigarette smoking.
11. “Have moderation in alcohol.
12. “The two most important things for men to consider is if they have a family history of cardiac disease to see their doctor regularly. The other is prostate cancer. It is common in men. Talk with their physician or urologist about any changes in urination. Have their prostate checked regularly, especially if they have any family history of prostate cancer. Men aren’t as good at following through with medical issues unless there’s a problem, compared with women. Women need to encourage their men to see their physicians.”
• Physician Kent Chevli is the president of Western New York Urology Associates.