Is Respiratory Diseases in Men growing?
It may seem surprising but latest statistics indicates that American women at an average, lives 5 years longer than American men. Part of this According to the latest data reported by Center for Disease Control and Prevention, it is true that life expectancy is lower in men versus women which is primarily attributed to unhealthy lifestyle choices and lack of periodic health examinations that plays a major role in the early detection of serious diseases. National Center for Health Statistics reported data according to which more than 80% males have not seen a primary care provider in the past 5 years.
This year National Men’s Health Week was dedicated to preventable yet deadly diseases that can greatly alter the quality of life of men. The goal of this awareness campaign was to educate individuals and groups about simple yet practical lifestyle modifications that can improve the life expectancy in males.
Lower Respiratory tract diseases and Prevalence in men:
Lower respiratory disorders are classified under acute (lasting less than 4 weeks) to chronic more than 4 months. Some common chronic lower respiratory diseases include:
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Chronic bronchitis
- Occupational lung diseases
- Pulmonary hypertension.
Latest reports by Center for Disease Control and Prevention suggested that more than 70,000 premature deaths in US males is attributed to respiratory diseases. This also means that chronic respiratory ailments make up the 4th leading cause of death attributing to about 5.2% of the total death toll among US males.
Risk factors that may aggravate the risk of developing respiratory diseases:
Risk factors that makes you more inclined to develop chronic respiratory diseases are classified as congenital (anatomical defects), acquired (that includes environmental or genetic)
- Genetic defects such as alpha antitrypsin enzyme deficiency can lead to emphysema
- Unhealthy lifestyle choices such as history of smoking or certain toxins that you may get exposed too as part of your occupational responsibilities (such as asbestos, paint industry, antifreeze and automobile industry) can also aggravate your risk of developing respiratory disorders
What are some sign and symptoms of Respiratory diseases?
Classic symptoms of chronic and poorly managed respiratory diseases vary, according to the degree of tissues involved and severity of ailment. Some common symptoms are:
- Persistent cough that may be productive (with sputum) or dry
- Hoarseness of voice along with changes in other characteristics of voice
- Low exercise tolerance
- Persistent fatigue or unexplained weakness
- Difficulty in deep breathing
What to do if you are suffering from chronic lower respiratory diseases?
If you are suffering from constant gnawing symptoms of respiratory tract, consult your primary care provider to diagnose the cause of ailment. Your healthcare provider may advice a variety of laboratory, radiological or physical examinations to see the origin of respiratory complaints and assessment of pulmonary functions.
Once the cause and extent of ailment is known, your doctor may advise you a combination of following:
- Lifestyle modification tips to avoid triggering an attack or improving overall health such as weight adjustment, cessation of smoking, identification of irritants that triggers an allergic attack etc.
- Appropriate drugs to control/ cure the cause of symptoms such as antihistamines (to manage allergy related symptoms), antibiotics (to treat bacterial infection), bronchodilators (to support breathing and ventilation) and steroids (to reduce inflammation)
- In severe cases, more aggressive treatment options are needed to cure the disease such as removal of tumor etc.