Men's health - Statistics & Facts

Men in the United States face many of the same health problems men in other developed countries face to a greater or lesser extent. In 2016, the life expectancy for men in the United States was 76.3 years, around five years less than that of women. The leading causes of death for men in 2016 were heart disease and cancer, accounting for a combined 46.7 percent of all male deaths that year. In addition to physical disease, mental health issues are common among men in the U.S., with suicide ranking the seventh leading cause of death. Men are often more likely than women to participate in behavior that puts their health at risk, through smoking and drinking alcohol for example, highlighting the need for men to be educated on basic health and encouraged to lead healthy lifestyles.

In 2018, prostate cancer was projected to be the most common type of cancer among men in the United States with an estimated 164,690 new cases. The other most common types of cancer among men include lung and bronchus, colon and rectum, and urinary bladder. Although prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer, the death rate from such cancer has decreased steadily since 1990. In 2016, there were just over 19 deaths from prostate cancer per 100,000 population. From birth to death a man in the U.S. has an 11.6 percent chance of developing prostate cancer.

Men in the U.S. also face health risks from a number of common diseases, including hypertension, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. In 2016, approximately 209 men died per 100,000 population from diseases of the heart. Furthermore, as of 2014, an estimated 9.4 percent of all adult men in the U.S. had been diagnosed with diabetes.

The high suicide rate of men in the United States highlights the seriousness of mental health issues among men and the need for open communication among this population about such issues. It was found that in 2017 around 11.5 percent of men aged 20 years had serious thoughts about suicide, the highest of any age group. However, the percentage of men who received mental health treatment or counseling in the past year was 10.5 percent in 2017, compared to 8.9 percent in 2006. Such an increase could be the result of improved access to such help and facilities and a decrease in the stigma surrounding mental illness, particularly among men.

One of the simplest ways to improve personal health is by avoiding behavior that poses a health risk, for example taking drugs, drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes or living a sedentary life. The death rate from drug poisoning in the U.S. has increased in recent years, reaching a rate of around 42.5 deaths per 100,000 population among males aged 45 to 54 years. Opioids remain partly responsible for this rise in drug related deaths.

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