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 2019, 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 2018 were heart disease and cancer, accounting for a combined 45.9 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 eighth 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 and encouraged to lead healthy lifestyles.
Cancer and disease
In 2021, prostate cancer was projected to be the most common type of cancer among men in the United States with an estimated 248,530 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 2018, there were roughly 19 deaths from prostate cancer per 100,000 population. From birth to death a man in the U.S. has a 12.1 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 2018, approximately 208 men died per 100,000 population from diseases of the heart. Furthermore, an estimated 11.8 percent of adult men 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 half of the population about such issues. Around 10 percent of men aged 18-25 years had serious thoughts about suicide, the highest of any age group in 2019. In the same year, the percentage of men who received mental health treatment or counseling in the past year was 11.2 percent, an increase compared to 9.3 percent in 2009. The growth could be a result of improved access to mental health providers 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 52.4 deaths per 100,000 population among males aged 35 to 44 years. Opioids remain partly responsible for this rise in drug related deaths. On the other hand binge drinking among young men has greatly declined in the past 10 years. Furthermore, a survey from 2021 on how physically active U.S. men were, found that a large majority of men said they were somewhat to very active. These trends show that men in the U.S. are becoming more health conscience and are making healthier life choices.
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