Prevent the 7 Threats to Men’s Health

Reading time: 6 – 9 minutes

Men’s Health Week is celebrated each year as the week leading up to and including Father’s Day. This year, Men’s Health Week runs from June 11th–17th. It is observed as part of the larger Men’s Health Month, which is celebrated during the month of June with screenings, health fairs, media appearances, and other health education and outreach activities.

National Men's Health Month

The purpose of Men’s Health Week is to increase awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the biggest threats to men’s health can often be prevented [1]. Here’s a list of the top seven threats to men’s health and what you can do to minimize those risks.

  1. Heart diseaseHeart disease is the leading cause of death in U.S. males [2]. The good news is that measures can be taken to prevent heart disease. Here’s some things you can do to take charge of your heart health:
  2. CancerThe three most common cancers among men are prostate cancer, lung cancer and colorectal cancer [3]. Scientists estimate that about a third of the most common cancers could be prevented through diet and lifestyle [4]. Choose healthy lifestyle alternatives to reduce your risks for developing cancer:
  3. AccidentsMotor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of fatal accidents among men. When driving, use common sense: always wear your seat belt, don’t drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and don’t drive when you’re tired. Avoid distractions such as the radio or texting and follow the speed limit (this will also improve your financial health, reduce stress, and help save the planet).
  4. Chronic lower respiratory diseasesChronic lung conditions such as bronchitis and emphysema are a concern for men. Here’s how you can protect your respiratory health:
    • Don’t smoke.
    • Pay attention to air quality; steer clear of pollutants.
    • Prevent respiratory infections. Wash your hands and get the yearly flu vaccine.
  5. StrokeStroke is the most common cause of adult disability. Although you can’t control some stroke risk factors, such as family history, age and race, you can control other contributing factors:
  6. Type 2 diabetesType 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. It is a lifelong disease in which there are high levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood. To prevent type 2 diabetes, eat a healthy diet, exercise, and watch your weight. Research has shown that you can also lower diabetes risk by getting a good nights sleep.If you have diabetes, keep your blood sugar under control. Poorly controlled diabetes can lead to heart disease, eye problems, nerve damage and other complications.
  7. SuicideSuicide is another leading men’s health risk. An important risk factor for suicide among men is depression. Depression is serious: changes in heart function are seen during major depression. Effective treatments for depression are available. If you have signs and symptoms of depression, such as feelings of sadness or unhappiness and loss of interest in normal activities, talk to your doctor.

The bottom line to men is to take these seven health threats seriously. The actions listed on this page will positively affect your health and increase the likelihood of living a long and healthy life.


  1. Men’s health: Preventing the top 7 threats. Mayo Clinic. Accessed 2012 Jun 13.
  2. Leading Causes of Death in Males United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed 2012 Jun 13.
  3. Cancer Among Men. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed 2012 Jun 13.
  4. Cancer prevention. World Cancer Research Fund. Accessed 2012 Jun 13.
About the Author

Walter Jessen, Ph.D. is a Data Scientist, Digital Biologist, and Knowledge Engineer. His primary focus is to build and support expert systems, including AI (artificial intelligence) and user-generated platforms, and to identify and develop methods to capture, organize, integrate, and make accessible company knowledge. His research interests include disease biology modeling and biomarker identification. He is also a Principal at Highlight Health Media, which publishes Highlight HEALTH, and lead writer at Highlight HEALTH.