What is the Leading Cause of Death in Men Over 40?
- Liver Disease
- Heart Disease
- Accidental Injury
Answer: Heart Disease
According to the CDC, more men over 40 die from heart disease than anything else. Cancer is the next leading cause, with accidental injuries right behind it (c’mon guys… really?). Liver disease isn’t even close to the top.
Preventing Heart Disease
Heart disease doesn’t necessarily mean a heart attack is imminent. There are a lot of different things that can happen, like a blood clot or stroke. There are also a lot of different things that can lead to heart disease, with smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, and chronic stress at the top of the list. So, let’s see what we can do to reduce your risk, which increases every year after 45.
Quit Smoking: Of course, you’ve heard it a million times — smoking is unhealthy. There are many different tools, both physical and psychological, to help you quit, but you are ultimately the one who makes that decision — and we aren’t here to nag you into it. Just know that quitting now can significantly reduce your risks.
Diabetes: If you have diabetes, then you already know how it can pretty much take over your life if you don’t have it under control. Exercise helps reduce the spikes and lulls that come with diabetes, so even if you just take a 20 minute walk every day, you’re going to improve the situation. Those late night snacks? Replace a snack cake with a healthy smoothie or some vegetables. There are plenty of healthy diabetic snacks to choose from. Take your medication, and listen to the advice your doctor gives you — which is mainly to reduce carbs and eat more protein.
High Blood Pressure: Diabetes can cause high blood pressure, and stress doesn’t do it any good either. Again, exercise and a healthy diet can go a long way toward reducing your blood pressure.
Stress: One study showed that those who carried ongoing stress were more likely to develop heart disease. Most of your stress probably seems to start with your environment, but the fact of the matter is that how you respond to the elements of your life is up to you. Maybe it’s time to stop thinking in terms of how you can reduce your stress and start thinking in terms of how you can increase your happiness. By default, that will lower your stress level naturally, and the benefit is that you can not only live longer, but get more enjoyment out of life.
Note that none of these things are immediately going to replace your medication, but over time, developing healthier habits could lead to medication reduction or elimination. Be sure to speak with your doctor about the details of your efforts, so he or she can help monitor and adjust your treatment plan.