What men can do to live longer

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Is being male bad for your health? Experts say yes - men more often die prematurely from almost every disease that should affect men and women equally, from heart disease to cancer to type 2 diabetes. Men, here is what you can do to improve your odds and your health.

On June 22, science and tech magazine New Scientist reported that around 630,000 men die between the ages of 15 and 64 in Europe, compared with 300,000 women of the same age. Trends are similar in the US as well.

Why? Experts cite bad lifestyle habits, such as smoking, drinking, and eating less healthfully, for example. Plus Alan White, lead author of The State of Men's Health in Europe, published in July, told New Scientist that because men are socialized differently, they tend to react in more destructive ways when they find things difficult, such as becoming stressed, smoking, and drinking more.

A big problem White cites is that many men lack services that could really come to their aid, such as health clinics open at times other than daytime working hours, or sporting activities available to men who work off-hours, such as restaurant workers or late-night taxi drivers, he said.

If you're male and have been neglecting your health, the first step is to start taking a personal interest in your health, especially preventative health, and then schedule an appointment with a doctor for a full physical examination. Talk about long-term health problems with your doctor, no matter how embarrassing or private, and be sure to ask questions about what tests and screenings are appropriate for your age, writes health website HealthDay.

Men's Health Network, a US nonprofit dedicated to men's health, suggests being prepared for your physical by bringing a list of all medications and supplements you're taking. Jot down a full medical history of your family, and make a list of any allergies you may have.

HealthDay also recommends a few additional lifestyle pointers, such as trimming back saturated fats, trans fats, and simple carbohydrates, while opting for fresh vegetables and fruits and lean meats. Also, regular exercise can go a long way in keeping you healthy, as can enjoying the company of others and connecting with your family.

Learn what you can do to prevent the top seven health threats to men: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/mens-health/MC00013

More advice from the Men's Health Network: http://www.menshealthnetwork.org