According to a 2017 study done by the National Vital Statistics System (NVSS), the leading cause of death in America is Cardiovascular Disease. While this is critical information for everyone, they also report that the risk of death due to a heart disease is higher for men than for women.
Today we’re going to explain the basics of heart health for men, including specific information on causes of heart disease, risk factors and prevention tips. If, after reading this, you suspect that yourself or a loved one may be at risk, we have some of the very best doctors for men in Lewisville TX (locations also in Benbrook, Bedford, Boyd & Justin) who can help.
What is Cardiovascular Disease?
The term Cardiovascular Disease is often used interchangeably with the terms “heart disease” or “coronary heart disease.” However, each of these terms actually refers to something specific and separate:
- Cardiovascular Disease: Diseases that affect blood vessels or the heart.
- Heart Disease: Term used to refer to any disease that may affect the heart’s function or structure.
- Coronary Heart Disease: The most common heart disease; also known as “Atherosclerosis” or “clogged arteries.”
The most common types of Cardiovascular Disease that impact men’s health include:
- Coronary Heart Disease
- Heart Attacks
- Congenital Heart Defects
- Peripheral Artery Disease
Why Does it Affect Men Differently?
Medical research is continually adding information to what we know about how cardiovascular disease affects males and females. While there is a lot that we do know, there is still a lot to be discovered. Currently, a lot of the data points to behaviors and lifestyles. This seems to be especially true with regards to men’s coping abilities in relation to stress. Some studies have shown that men are more inclined to rely on less adaptive physiological, behavioral, and emotional methods of managing stress.
Research also points to the presence and amount of certain hormones, such as estrogen. It has been observed that the number of women who experience heart attacks increases around 10 years after menopause. This phenomenon may suggest that a lower amount of estrogen could have an impact on heart health. It also may explain why men have more heart complications at age 55 while women’s numbers don’t increase until around age 65.
Science has been very clear about the health conditions and lifestyle choices that increase the risk of having cardiovascular disease. Risk factors on the top of the list include:
- High Blood Pressure
- High LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Unbalanced diet
In addition to the presence of these habits and conditions, there are a few additional male-specific early warning signs that you could be on the path towards heart disease. These include:
- Erectile Dysfunction
- Low Testosterone
- Chronic stress
At Your Family Medical, we offer some of the very best specialized men’s health Lewisville TX has to offer (locations also in Benbrook, Bedford, Boyd & Justin). If you or a loved one is struggling with any of these behaviors or conditions, we have the resources to help. Our internal medicine team offers a variety of services that can increase healthy habits, improve stress-management skills, and offer resources and support towards sustainable change.
This is the exciting part: there are many simple things you can do – starting today – to decrease your chances of cardiovascular disease. Some of these preventative measures include:
- Quit smoking
- Get your cholesterol and blood pressure tested regularly
- Eat a well-balanced diet, rich with vegetables and fruits
- Achieve and maintain a healthy weight
- Limit alcohol intake
- Find better ways to manage stress
At Your Family Medical, our core belief is that achieving optimal men’s health outcomes requires building a mutual partnership of trust, understanding and information. Our goal is to empower you with the knowledge and skills needed to achieve an optimal state of health and wellbeing.
We have doctors at each of our Texas locations – Benbrook, Bedford, Lewisville, Boyd and Justin – who are currently accepting new patients. Give us a call today to schedule a time to learn more about heart health and beyond!
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