Male Health News May 2015

Almost 1 in 4 deaths avoidable in England and Wales

Good quality healthcare, public health interventions or lifestyle improvements could have potentially prevented almost a quarter of deaths in 2013.

Released on the 20th May, the Office for National Statistics’ Avoidable Mortality in England and Wales 2013 release outlines that around “23% of all deaths registered…were from causes considered avoidable”.  The majority (60%) of these potentially avoidable deaths were among men.

As reported in the Guardian, “improvements in reducing avoidable early deaths did not continue into 2013”, suggesting that despite the improvements in healthcare, poor lifestyles are a major factor in this slowdown.  Coronary heart disease and lung cancer are two of the biggest avoidable killers, both of which are closely related to people’s lifestyle.

This report underlines the need for everyone to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle, as well as seek medical advice in case of concerns.  More information on a range of conditions, including heart disease and lung cancer, is available in our information page.  For tips on motivating yourself to exercise, why not check out our blog?

(29th May 2015)

 

Regular exercise in old age likely to extend men’s lives

A recent study suggests that older men doing three hours of exercise per week live around five years longer than sedentary men.

As reported on the Guardian newspaper website, Oslo University Hospital researchers tracked thousands of men over 1972-3 and then again from 2000-2011.  In the latest group of 5,700 men (aged between 68 and 77), deaths were reduced by 40% for those who did the equivalent of six half-hour exercise sessions a week.  The study’s report outlined that this amount of exercise was as beneficial to longevity as stopping smoking.

The report did not consider how active men were earlier in their lives, so it may be that these older men had exercised throughout their lives, and were healthier as a result.  However, this is all the more reason for all men to keep themselves active and healthy.  With the Bank Holiday weekend coming up, why not devote a morning to doing a walk, run or some sport?

(22nd May 2015)

 

Earlier chemo extends life for men with advanced prostate cancer

‘Game-changing’ results from a recent trial suggest that the life expectancy of men with advanced prostate cancer could be extended by nearly two years by giving chemotherapy treatment earlier.

As reported in multiple news sources this week, this trial was held across Britain and Switzerland and involved almost 3,000 men, as part of the larger ‘Stampede’ trial.  Advanced prostate cancer is when prostate cancer has spread outside of the prostate gland, often to nearby bones, tissues, or lymph nodes.  Advanced prostate cancer has no cure at present.

Usually chemotherapy is given only as a last resort if other treatments such as radiotherapy, surgery and hormone treatment have been unsuccessful.  However, the trial results suggest that treating men with docetaxel chemotherapy as soon as cancer spreads beyond the prostate can extend life expectancy by an average of 22 months.  One of the trial’s researchers Professor Malcolm Mason was quoted by the Telegraph stating he hoped the findings led to swift changes in clinical practice.

Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer in men, with over 42,000 men diagnosed each year.  1 in 8 men will get prostate cancer in their lifetime.  More information on prostate cancer, your risks and what you can do is available on our information page, as well as from sources like Prostate Cancer UK and NHS Choices.  If you are worried, don’t delay – see your doctor.

(15th May 2015)

 

Three quarters of UK men could be overweight by 2030

Projections released by the World Health Organisation this week suggest that 74% of all British men will be overweight or obese in 2030.

As reported this week, the numbers of overweight or obese men will rise from 70% currently to 74% in 2030, compared with a rise from 59% to 64% for women.  This means that nearly 39 million adults will be overweight or obese in the UK.  The UK would also retain its place as one of the most overweight countries in Europe.

Reasons suggested for this increase have included easy availability and affordability of unhealthy foods, including sugary drinks, and a lack of exercise.  Speaking about the study, Dr Laura Webber from the UK Health Forum said: “Although there is no silver bullet for tackling the epidemic, governments must do more to restrict unhealthy food marketing and make healthy food more affordable.”

Given this news, make sure you don’t become an obesity statistic!  It’s vital to eat healthily and keep active.  There are plenty of tips on motivating yourself to exercise on our blog, and there is a wealth of sites dedicated to healthy eating, not least NHS Live Well site and the British Nutrition Foundation.

(8th May 2015)

 

Major benefits from quitting smoking, even at age 60

“It is never too late to stop smoking” says research lead, as a new study shows people’s risks of heart attack and stroke decrease considerably after stopping smoking.

This week, the German Cancer Research Center published a meta-analysis of 25 individual studies on the impacts of smoking cessation, bringing together data from over half a million individuals aged 60+.  The study demonstrated that people can significantly reduce their risks of serious conditions such as heart disease or stroke by stopping smoking.  Even for smokers who stop at age 60 or above, their risks decrease considerably after five years, and continue to decrease after that.  On average, the risk for former smokers is estimated to be “only 1.3 times that of people who have never smoked in their lives.”  Study head Professor Hermann Brenner said that “many heart attacks and strokes, with all of their serious consequences, could be prevented” by stopping smoking.  Please see here for more information on this study.

If you are a smoker, there is no time like the present to quit.  You can find resources to help from the NHS, so check this link to find out more.

(1st May 2015)