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What are the Top 10 Male Health Problems?

Affinity Health is a leading provider of high-quality health cover. Here is their discussion on how men can avoid developing 10 serious illnesses.


A lack of knowledge, inadequate health education, and unhealthy work and personal habits. These have all contributed to a persistent decline in the health of South African men.


Many diseases and conditions can strike both men and women. But according to Affinity Health, some affect men the most. The top health problems men experience are:

1. Cardiovascular Diseases

Cardiovascular diseases include heart disease or stroke. They are the leading cause of death globally. More than one in every three adult men has some type of cardiovascular disease.


Routine exams might assist in keeping your heart pumping normally. Your doctor can estimate your risk of falling ill based on several risk factors. Indicators include your cholesterol level, blood pressure, and lifestyle.

2. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Many respiratory disorders begin with a smoker’s cough. With time, that cough can progress to life-threatening illnesses. A cough can signal lung cancer, emphysema, or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). All these disorders impair your capacity for normal breathing.


Smoking is still the leading cause of lung cancer. If you are a smoker, let your healthcare provider know. A doctor will determine if you need a low-dose CT scan to screen for lung cancer.

3. Alcohol Abuse

Did you know that men have higher deaths and hospital admissions because of alcohol? Men binge drink at a rate twice that of women. Additionally, they are prone to increased violence and sexual assault.


Drinking alcohol raises the dangers of developing mouth, throat, oesophagus, liver, and colon cancer. Additionally, alcohol impairs testicular function and hormone synthesis. As a result, impotence and infertility may occur.

4. Suicide and Depression

The suicide rate among middle-aged men has sky-rocketed in the last decade. At least six million males have depressive illnesses each year.


Several strategies for overcoming depression include the following:

  • Booking an appointment with your health care provider. They may prescribe medication to treat depression and anxiety
  • Contacting The South African Depression & Anxiety Group for help. (24hr Helpline: 0800 456 789)
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Checking with your doctor before using supplements or performance-enhancing drugs
  • Getting regular exercise, even if it is just going for a quick walk
  • Journaling or writing down your thoughts
  • Communicating your feelings freely with friends and family members

5. Accidents and Injuries

Unintentional injury was the top cause of mortality for men in 2006. Injuries include drowning, traumatic brain injuries, and disasters caused by explosions.


Male drivers and passengers aged 15 to 19 had twice the rate of motor vehicle fatalities as females in 2006. Male workers sustained 92 percent of the 5,524 fatal occupational injuries documented.

6. Cirrhosis of The Liver

The size of your liver is comparable to that of a football. It aids in the digestion of meals and the absorption of nutrients. Additionally, it cleanses your body of toxins. The term “liver disease” refers to a variety of illnesses, including the following:


Drinking and smoking raise your risk of developing liver disease.

7. Diabetes

Untreated diabetes can cause damage to the nerves and kidneys. It can also cause heart disease and stroke, as well as visual difficulties or blindness. Diabetes in men increases the risk of low testosterone levels and sexual dysfunction. This can result in elevated levels of despair or anxiety.


The most effective way to manage diabetes is to eat healthily and exercise. It is vital to see your doctor for routine diabetes testing if you have a family history of diabetes.

8. Pneumonia and Influenza

Influenza and pneumococcal infection are two of the most serious health concerns. Men may be prone to these disorders if they live with weakened immune systems due to:

  • COPD
  • Diabetes
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Sickle cell anaemia
  • AIDS
  • Cancer


Men are 25% more likely to die from these diseases than women. Affinity Health recommends vaccination to protect against influenza and pneumonia.

9. Skin Cancer

Did you know that men accounted for two-thirds of melanoma mortality in 2013? This is more than double the rate experienced by women. White men over 50 accounted for 60% of all melanoma deaths.


You can prevent skin cancer by using a sunscreen every day. It also helps to wear long sleeves and slacks, hats with wide brims and sunglasses. Additionally, you can reduce your risk of skin cancer by avoiding UV radiation. Sources of radiation include tanning beds or sunlamps.


According to the CDC, men accounted for 76 percent of HIV infections in 2010. HIV-positive men may be unaware that they are infected. Initial symptoms may mimic the common cold or flu.


Take a Proactive Stance

Now that you’re aware of the most common men’s health issues to watch out for, the next step is to alter your lifestyle. Take a proactive approach to your health.


“The good news is that you can take charge of your health in a variety of ways. Start with emphasising prevention,” says Murray Hewlett, CEO of Affinity Health.


“Eat better, stop smoking and binge drinking and check in regularly with your health care provider.”

About Affinity Health

Affinity Health is the leading provider of affordable medical insurance in South Africa. Members enjoy access to a network of healthcare providers. We have designed healthcare products to protect you and your family when it matters the most. We strive to give our clients peace of mind and the highest standard of service. For more information, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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