Among the leading causes of death among Hungarian men are cardiovascular diseases, and cancers, including malignant lesions of the lung, colon and prostate. In the last few years, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of people attending health screenings has dropped drastically compared to previous years, so now is the time to plan and take our health seriously.
Cardiologist and professor of internal medicine Dr. István Préda, professor of internal medicine, gastroenterology, geriatrics and hypertension specialist Dr. habil Ádám Lelbach, professor of orthopedic traumatology Dr. László Hangody, and chief urologist Dr. József Varga, summarized the most important facts about men's health.
Cardiovascular diseases claim the most lives, almost as many as all other causes of death combined
Predisposing factors for cardiovascular diseases
- One of the most important predisposing factors is high blood pressure.
- Higher cholesterol levels and diabetes are also associated with the development of cardiovascular diseases.
- Being overweight and a sedentary lifestyle.
- Genetics is an important predisposing factor for the development of cardiovascular diseases.
What we can do to prevent cardiovascular problems
- Screening and testing for cardiovascular diseases is also important.
- For higher blood pressure, the right blood pressure should be set: below 135/90 mm Hg.
- For higher cholesterol, start lowering cholesterol.
- In the case of obesity, appropriate weight reduction should be achieved by eating low-carbohydrate foods and exercising regularly.
- The best way to stay healthy is to exercise regularly and maintain a good diet.
Practical advice on nutrition
- Give preference to poultry over beef or pork.
- Moderate meat consumption is recommended.
- Reduce salt intake.
- Egg whites are an ideal source of protein.
- Eat plenty of fiber-rich vegetables.
- Drink adequate amounts of fluids.
- Replenish missing vitamins and minerals.
How can musculoskeletal problems be prevented?
- Prevention can include musculoskeletal screening, which can alert you to potential problems at an early stage.
- Start exercising gradually, because the muscles, ligaments and skeletal system do not adapt to sudden intense exercise - and this usually leads to injuries.
- Common types of injuries in older men while playing football include ruptures of the Achilles tendon, knee cartilage injuries, ligament injuries and muscle strains. These can be avoided by regular exercise, gradual loading and warming up.
- A typical source of accidents is when someone is overweight and starts to exercise intensively, even just running, and a small pothole is enough to cause a serious knee injury because the body cannot correct it. Do not start exercising when you are already overweight.
- The way to maintain musculoskeletal fitness is to keep up our sporting activities from a young age and continue to play sports - appropriate for our age group - throughout our lives.
- When you start exercising, do it gradually and regularly.
Musculoskeletal disorders can also determine life expectancy. The leading causes of death include falls in old age and secondary mortality from femoral neck fractures. The later the joints are in a state where they are no longer suitable for active movement, the longer the life expectancy.
Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers in men
Every year in Hungary, 4,500 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer and 1,000 men die from prostate cancer. Scientific evidence shows that the development of the disease is linked to diet and exercise.
- Although prostate cancer is not hereditary, men with a family history of the disease are three times more likely to develop it.
- There is clear evidence that people in certain occupations with high exposure to cadmium (batteries, accumulators, welding, soldering) are much more likely to develop malignant prostate cancer.
- Prostate cancer can be diagnosed and cured by measuring the PSA (prostate-specific antigen) level, and simple and accurate tests can give an excellent diagnosis.
- The urologist recommends the same diet as the cardiologist as cardiovascular diseases and prostate cancer can be prevented by the same diet.
However, there have been huge advances in the treatment of prostate tumors over the last 30 years. Today, it is possible to diagnose the disease perfectly, to tell what stage the patient is at, and which procedure is the best to cure it. There is no need to be afraid of the disease, but you should consult a specialist and have regular check-ups.
Relationship between life expectancy and screening
Men between the ages of 40 to 50 are also recommended to have regular screening tests. The most common causes of death, apart from cardiovascular diseases, are cancers, including lung cancer, colorectal cancer and prostate cancer. There are screening tests to detect all these diseases. Life expectancy at birth is around 80 years for Hungarian women and 72 years for men, which makes it clear that we need to improve men’s life expectancy through screening. The medical recommendation is to have regular screening tests over the age of 40, and to make exercise and a healthy diet part of our everyday lives. This is not only for our own benefit, but also for those we are responsible for: our families and those close to us.
The professors and senior doctors from Dr. Rose Private Hospital stressed that men need to take an active role in maintaining their health. We can greatly increase the number of years spent in good health by going for the recommended screening tests and by making exercise and healthy eating part of everyday life.