Heart Disease in Men: Signs, Causes and Other Facts About The Disease

By Roz Jones

Heart disease in men is the number one cause of death in the US, and around the world. Every day, you seem to read or hear about men in the sports area or in other noteworthy professions succumbing to heart disease.  One of the major diseases is atherosclerosis. 

Atherosclerosis increases as one’s diet contain large amounts of cholesterol and saturated fat. If you have high levels of cholesterol in your blood; smoke; have high blood pressure or have diabetes; you are a candidate for this disease.

The symptoms accompanying this disease are not noticeable until the damage has already been done. Whether you have cramps in your legs during exercise; had a stroke; kidney failure; angina; or a heart attack – these are clear signs you are in the stages of atherosclerosis.  Once it is confirmed that the plaque has formed and your cholesterol is quite high, you will need to consult your physician as to the best form of treatment. For cholesterol, there are many drugs available that can reduce cholesterol by as much as 50%.  Crestor is one of them; Lipitor is another.  Cholesterol can be inherent in most people whose families also had this condition. Your doctor will most certainly suggest you cut down or stop smoking; begin a proper diet and exercise regimen, and may want to check your blood on a monthly basis.

Other tests your doctor might decide upon, specifically if your condition worsens, is an electrocardiogram or stress test followed by a heart sonogram; or an arteriogram. Today, there are more procedures available to detect heart problems than ever before. However, not all heart conditions require these types of examinations. 

Coronary artery disease affects men more than women. Unlike atherosclerosis, coronary artery disease is more treatable and can be prevented. Drugs or surgery, such as an angioplasty or coronary bypass may be indicated.   These types of surgical treatments have been very successful among the male population, however, the threat of heart attacks still exists. Prevention is the key; cease smoking; keep cholesterol levels down, and learn as much as possible about the heart and its function. Also key to preventing a heart attack is to know and understand the early symptoms and warning signs.

Here are the signs of a heart attack: pain in the center of your chest; neck; jaw; arms; and upper abdomen. A heart attack can also be accompanied by dizziness; shortness of breath, sweating; chills; nausea; and fainting. Sometimes, and more frequently among older men; it just happens without warning. For some, it could happen while exercising or under stress; for others, it could happen while at rest. Heart attacks do not distinguish between age and ethnicity; however, it does affect men more often than women. 


Are you an Overwhelmed Caregiver? Check out my latest podcast where we discuss ‘The Mindset of a Caregiver’!

We all know caregiving is hard. It is physically, mentally, and emotionally draining. As caregivers, we are constantly being told we need to find time to take care of ourselves. 

We know that taking care of ourselves is essential for being a good caregiver. But most of us have a difficult time experiencing the ‘caregiver’ mindset.

In this episode, Dr. Herbert highlights how vital it is to have a positive mindset as a caregiver.

We talk about;
Self-care for caregivers
Focusing on what you can control
Getting over the guilt
Generational Gaps