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Top 5 common men’s health issues in the UAE

New Year, a healthier life. This is probably one of the most common goals in our lists of New Year’s resolutions, but many find it hard to make that pledge stick. While the Emirates have successfully morphed itself into a rapidly growing economy in the last decades, long working hours, high stress levels at work and unhealthy and sedentary lifestyles have contributed to the deteriorating health amongst the local population. Worse still, masculine pride makes men more likely to keep mum about their health conditions. They will try to tough it out and get over the problem by themselves, leading to delays in treatment. Today, Pacific Prime Dubai will address the leading health issues among men in the Emirates.

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Colorectal cancer

Colorectal cancer is the second most recorded cancer in the UAE and second highest cause of mortality due to cancer in the UAE. Nearly 11 percent of all cancer cases in Abu Dhabi have been diagnosed as colorectal, with 62 percent in males. It can also present itself as early as age 40 here in the UAE, while the average age of patients globally is between 60 and 70.

As with many other health conditions, colorectal cancer is highly linked to an unhealthy, sedentary lifestyle such as a high-fat, low-fiber diet and smoking. Other risk factors include:

Family history

People with a family history of colorectal cancer or polyps (benign growths in the colon lining) might need to start colonoscopy screenings earlier than the age of 40.

People who develop Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

People with IBD may develop chronic inflammation of the large intestine and are thus more likely to suffer from colorectal cancer.

Physical inactivity and obesity

People who lack exercise and are overweight may have an increased risk of colorectal cancer.

Dietary factors

Consuming more red and processed meat and is correlated to a higher risk of the disease.

Colorectal cancer is a disease that is completely preventable and treatable if detected early. And the key to its prevention is colonoscopy screening. While this form of cancer can exhibit no symptoms at all, if you’ve noticed a change in bowel habits, blood in your stool, abdominal pain or bloating, unexplained weight loss, fatigue or vomiting, you should consult a physician as soon as possible.

Enlarged prostate gland

Also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), enlarged prostate gland is a common condition in men as they grow older and can cause inconvenient urinary symptoms, such as:

  • A weak or slow urinary stream
  • A feeling of incomplete bladder emptying
  • Frequent urination
  • Straining to urinate
  • Difficulty starting urination
  • Post-void dribbling

Being overweight is one of the key risk factors, as the accumulation of excess body fat affects hormone levels. Luckily though, BPH is not related to prostate cancer and is usually not a serious problem.

However, over time BPH can also develop into more serious conditions such as prostatitis, where the prostate gland becomes swollen and enlarged, causing acute or chronic inflammation. Symptoms include a frequent urge to urinate, difficulty in urinating, pain in the perineal area, and, in acute cases, fever.

Again, frequent exercise, a diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables and low in processed foods can help to prevent prostatitis.

Type 2 diabetes

Diabetes is a body condition in which the blood sugar levels become very high because the pancreas fails to produce insulin. Type 1 diabetes happens when there is absolute insulin deficiency, whilst type 2 diabetes is when the amount of insulin produced by the pancreas is insufficient. Statistics in 2017 has found that around 17% of the UAE population between the ages of 20 and 79 have type 2 diabetes.

Symptoms include increased urination, sudden weight loss, and blurry vision. If left untreated, type 2 diabetes can lead to a higher risk of heart attack and stroke, as well as other more serious conditions. Half of the men with type 2 diabetes have erectile dysfunction but they may feel ashamed of bringing it up and neither will doctors always ask about it.

Male infertility

Similar to the erectile dysfunction caused by type 2 diabetes, male infertility is another disease where patients tend to avoid diagnosis due to the social stigma and emotional problems. While women are often thought to be the cause of infertility, one study believes that one in five couples in the UAE face infertility-related issues and men are the causative factors in half of the cases.

Once again, it is related to family history and modern-day lifestyle matters including smoking, drugs and alcohol, exposure to environmental toxins, unhealthy weight, stress and lack of sleep.

Cardiovascular diseases

The leading cause of death among both men and women in the UAE, cardiovascular diseases, which involve the heart and affect arteries, blood vessels, and veins, account for 30 percent of all deaths and are getting more prevalent among younger populations. And the overwhelming majority of these deaths (more than 75 percent) was among men.

Several risk factors affect the chances of developing heart disease, including smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, stress, lack of exercise or an unhealthy diet. Others, such as age and family history, are out of a patient’s control but can be managed with regular health check-ups.

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Contact Pacific Prime Dubai today

As you can tell from the above information, most of these diseases are preventable simply by making lifestyle changes such as exercise and a healthy diet, as well as having a regular health check at least once a year. For best protection against the potentially exorbitant medical costs, you should consider investing in your future health through securing a health insurance plan.

With over 19 years of experience and nine offices across the world, Pacific Prime Dubai is an independent insurance advisory that has developed solid relationships with major insurers. Our team of experts can match our clients with the plan that matches their needs and budget. Contact us today for impartial advice, a no-obligation quote, and a plan comparison!