Aging is often associated with a variety of conditions. These include diseases, illnesses, and even certain injuries are associated with a certain age group. As men (and women) age, the body stops making certain hormones and nutrients, which makes the body more susceptible to certain conditions— not to mention certain genetic conditions that are more likely to affect men than they are to affect women.
Some of these age-related changes cause conditions that can greatly reduce the quality of life, while others are temporary issues. Generally, the most common conditions earlier in life are the most preventable, and can even reduce your risk of developing problems later in life. Here’s a look at some of the most common injuries, diseases, and other conditions that affect men aged 20 and older.
Fortunately, young men in their 20s don’t have too many health conditions to worry about— aside from rare genetic and health conditions— but young men this age tend to be more reckless than men of other ages. Men this age tend to have poorer diets and engage in binge drinking, which may not always hurt them at this age, but will definitely have negative health effects in the future, especially if this behavior continues.
As for injuries, sports injuries are very common at this age. These can range in severity from sprains and strains to broken bones and concussions.
Men in their 30s and 40s should focus on their heart health before they become more serious issues in their 50s and 60s. Two major conditions that can lead to heart problems include high cholesterol and high blood pressure (hypertension). Men aged 35 and older should get their cholesterol checked every five years and those with a family history of high cholesterol should get it checked every year. Men aged 30-40 should have their blood pressure checked every three to five years, and it should be checked every year after age 40.
Men in this age group are more likely to experience work-related injuries. These injuries depend on the nature of the job, but they usually include slips, trips, and falls, plus overextension of certain muscles.
Men aged 50 and older are at a greater risk of developing certain cancers. At age 50, men should start their yearly screenings for both colon and prostate cancers and earlier if they have a family history of either cancer. Early detection is key— these cancers are much more treatable when caught early.
Sprains and Strains
A sprain is an injury that damages the tissue connecting two bones, while a strain is damage to the band of tissue that connects the muscles to a bone, or a direct injury to the muscles. Both of these injuries are more common in men over the age of 50. This is due to the natural changes in the joints, muscles, and bones when it comes to aging, but this can often result in age discrimination.
Men aged 70 and older are at a greater risk of developing dementia. While Alzheimer’s disease is more common in women, men are more likely to develop vascular dementia (which is often caused by a stroke), Lewy body dementia (caused by an increase of protein in the brain), and Parkinson’s disease (deterioration of the brain).
The most common injury in men (and women) of this age is falling. Falling at this age is dangerous because our joints, muscles, and bones become weaker so falls are more likely to result in serious injuries— or even death. Elder falls are most likely to occur in the individual’s home, but they’re also likely to occur in assisted living facilities (such as nursing homes) due to neglect and lack of supervision.
The majority of these diseases and injuries can be prevented, and it all comes down to living a healthy lifestyle and being safe. Abstaining from smoking and excessive drinking can help protect the organs from unnecessary damage, including the heart. You can also protect your heart and other organs from damage and diseases by eating a nutritious and balanced diet. This includes limiting the amount of fried, processed, salty, and sugary foods you eat.
Staying active can also help prevent age-related illnesses and falls in later life. Regular exercise builds your muscles and bones, protecting you from strains and fractures. While these healthy lifestyle practices may not help prevent certain inherited conditions, such as Parkinson’s, not living a healthy lifestyle can make the diseases worse.