Are Men More Prone To Heart Disease? Staying Heart Healthy As You Age

  • Cardiology
  • eating healthy - Heart Health
  • July 6, 2023

Men can benefit from learning about the risks of heart disease, the importance of check-ups, and how to maintain a healthy heart with age.

Maintaining a Healthy Heart

The term heart disease refers to several different types of heart conditions, including coronary artery disease (CAD) and heart attack. Heart disease is a leading cause of death worldwide and disproportionately affects men due to genetic and lifestyle factors. Both men and women should take steps to maintain a healthy heart, but men, in particular, should be aware of the risk factors and take proactive measures to prevent heart disease.


A gender difference

Men have more risk factors for heart disease than women, including high blood pressure (BP), high cholesterol, smoking, alcohol consumption, lack of exercise, diabetes, and obesity. While genetics and family history play a role in the development of heart disease, lifestyle factors such as diet, exercise, and stress management are also crucial in preventing heart disease.

Keep track of BP

Regularly monitoring and managing blood pressure is crucial for a healthy heart. High BP, also known as hypertension, can put extra strain on the heart and blood vessels, increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke. By understanding blood pressure and taking steps to maintain readings within a healthy range, men can remain heart-healthy.

Get tested for diabetes

A condition that may be important for men to discuss with a healthcare provider is diabetes, a chronic condition that affects how the body processes sugar. When left untreated, diabetes can increase the risk of heart disease. Early diagnosis and treatment of diabetes can help prevent or delay the development of serious complications, including heart disease.

Stop smoking

The risk of cardiovascular disease increases with smoking cigarettes. Smoking damages the blood vessels and increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, and many other serious health problems. Quitting smoking can be difficult, but many resources are available to help people quit, including nicotine replacement therapies, prescription medications, and support groups.

Check cholesterol and triglyceride

High cholesterol and triglyceride fat levels in the bloodstream can increase the risk of heart disease. However, too much cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood can build up in the arteries and increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. Managing cholesterol can be achieved through a healthy diet, regular exercise, and, in some cases, medication prescribed by a healthcare provider.

A healthy and balanced diet

Obesity raises the risk of heart disease. However, maintaining a healthy weight is possible with a heart-friendly diet. A daily diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein can help to reduce the risk of heart disease. Men should also limit the intake of unhealthy fats, salt, and sugar. By making healthy dietary choices, men can remain heart-healthy.

Reduce alcohol consumption

Current guidance recommends limiting alcohol intake to no more than 2 drinks per day for men and no more than 1 drink per day for women. A drink is defined as 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of liquor. The risk of heart disease increases with the amount of alcohol consumed, so even moderate drinking, and especially binge drinking, can adversely affect heart health.

Lower stress levels

Prioritizing self-care can help lower the risk of heart disease. Self-care can mean taking time to relax and perform enjoyable activities. Stress management techniques include deep breathing, meditation, or talking to a therapist. By practicing self-care, men can have lower stress levels and maintain a strong and healthy heart.

At the heart of the matter

With age, heart disease can be a serious concern for men. However, with the proper lifestyle changes and preventative care, remaining heart-healthy in the golden years is possible. Men can take steps toward living a long and healthy life by eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and managing stress levels.

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