Men & Heart Health: 5 Common Mistakes
There’s no denying that heart disease is scary. After all, it’s the number one health threat we all face – claiming the life of someone every 60 seconds. And while the statistics may be startling, this doesn’t mean that heart disease is unavoidable. In fact, the opposite is true. The power of prevention can be a lifesaver.
But preventing heart disease doesn’t look the same for everyone. It can vary from person to person based on a number of different factors, including age, ethnicity and gender.
For instance, did you know that stress has a different effect on a man’s heart versus a woman’s heart? And that’s not the only difference. Gender can significantly impact risk factors, symptoms and outcomes of heart disease.
With that in mind, here are some of the most common heart health mistakes men make:
1. Neglecting routine health needs.
Men are far more likely to skip going to the doctor for annual checkups. As a result, they’re more likely to forgo routine tests, like blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar screenings, all of which may impact heart disease risk.
Plus, skipping routine care may mean overlooking other conditions, like erectile dysfunction or low testosterone, both of which can be linked to heart disease.
2. Opting for a diet high in protein.
From the growing popularity of the keto diet to getting in ample grilling time during the summer months, eating a high-protein diet is the norm for many men. On its own, protein isn’t unhealthy. However, high-protein foods are often higher in saturated and trans fats, both of which aren’t great for heart health.
Plus, high-protein foods can be extremely filling, making you less likely to eat other food groups, like fruits and vegetables.
3. Downplaying stress.
While stress is something that affects all of us, men and women tend to deal with it in very different ways. For instance, men tend to be very stoic about their stress and avoid talking about it.
Bottling up stress can heighten the body’s internal response – increasing blood pressure and stress hormones. Overtime, chronic stress can lead to artery damage and increase heart disease risk.
4. Continuing to smoke.
The negative effects of smoking are extremely well known, but it’s estimated that nearly 25% of men in U.S. still smoke. That’s nearly 26.2 million men. While quitting can be extremely difficult, it’s extremely important. From decreased oxygen to the heart to increased risk for blood clots, smoking is one of the top risk factors for heart disease.
5. Ignoring or overlooking risk factors.
Did you know that men tend to develop coronary artery disease and experience heart attacks nearly 10 years before women do? Knowing the impact of your age, as well as other risk factors, like family history are essential. While these factors aren’t necessarily something you can change, your doctor can help you to effectively manage them.
Get serious about prevention.
When was the last time you saw your doctor? It might be time to schedule a quick in-person or video visit with one of the cardiologists at The Heart Center of NGMC. With a comprehensive array of services and ample expertise, you’ll receive the personalized care you – and your heart – need. Schedule your appointment today!