The life expectancy of Australian men is only 79 years of age, compared with 84 for Australian women.
At Burpengary East Medical Centre we believe it’s important to look at the four most common causes of death and illness in men, which are:
Other issues affecting Men’s Health include:
We also recognise that prevention is vital to improve men’s health outcomes, and as men tend to attend doctors less frequently than women, our GPs always encourage men to get regular check-ups.
The risk of heart disease can be significantly lowered by not smoking (or ceasing smoking), eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy weight with a BMI between 20-25 and a waist under 95cm.
Chronic health conditions such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes need to be managed, working to achieve targets which lower risk. The 45-49-year-old health check is used as a basis for an extensive health check and is also covered by Medicare.
Our GPs highly recommend that all men have tests to check for blood in their stools every 2 years after they reach 50 years of age – and a colonoscopy in those with a family history of bowel cancer.
They also advise men between the ages of 19 and 32 to regularly examine their testes to check for signs of testicular cancer.
They are also happy to discuss the option of screening for prostate cancer with a PSA and digital rectal examination for those over 50 – or over 40 for those with a family history. Benign prostatic hyperplasia is a common condition affecting 1 in 7 men between 40-49 – but this increases to 1 in 4 as they reach 70 years of age and over. A yearly check of the prostate can help detect this and it is important to discuss any changing urinary symptoms such as frequency, slow stream, dribbling or nocturia with your GP.
Erectile dysfunction is another common condition affecting 1 in 5 men over the age of 40 and 2 in 3 men over the age of 70. It also can be a warning sign of other medical illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes or depression. It is important to raise any concerns you have around this issue with your GP so we can investigate and treat this problem.
Depression is the silent killer in Australia, affecting 1 in 6 Australian men. Young men are four times more likely to commit suicide than young women – and men over 65 also have a very high suicide rate.
Depression can be associated with other medical illnesses such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, chronic pain or things like isolation or the death of a partner. Men generally do not seek treatment for mental illness, instead increasing the use of alcohol or non-prescribed drugs to alleviate the symptoms.
Our GPs encourage men to discuss these issues so they can provide the appropriate intervention and support such as counselling, cognitive behavioural therapy or the referral to a psychiatrist or psychologist for treatment and/or medication.