Cheers to man health

BARE TRUTH

Most men like to believe they are strong and have absolutely no health issues, unless they are having difficulty conceiving or they are 55 and are at the threshold of adropause. Therefore it is essential to spread awareness on preventive measures specially for men’s health, advises Dr Vasan S S

In India, a road tread lesser in the medical paradigm is men’s fertility. Many men today are shy, suffer in the quandary and have lesser options to address their problems and channelize the concerns related to fertility problems in the desired direction.

But, things are changing and for good. Gender based medicine is a new concept across the world. Until recently the focus has been on women’s health. However there is at present no focus on men’s health and its importance, let alone its preventive aspects. There is an emerging need to consider this important aspect of community health care.

A male normally approaches a doctor by around 55 years when he is in the initial stages of andropause. By then hypertension, diabetes and other attributes of metabolic syndrome would have set in and created havoc. We strongly need to spread awareness about preventive health management, especially for men in the most productive years of their lives i.e. between age of 21 – 55, especially those with hypertension, diabetes, dyslipidemias etc. Preventive, as opposed to curative, health care has become the preferred option in most developed countries as it allows people to be more productive.

A recent health survey revealed some startling facts - a whopping 46% of Indians, between the ages of 20 and 40, require medical intervention to conceive as one or both partners suffer from fertility problems. Indian men particularly are more prone for vascular risks due to highest incidence of diabetes, hypertension, abdominal obesity, work stress, life style and genetic causes.

In our country it has also been observed that more than 30% of these men are more prone to a serious cardiac arrest. However these men can be diagnosed with modern technology, and the pathological process modified, reversed, or intervened.

Several studies have shown that the earliest sign of a vascular disease is an erectile deficiency. Penile vascular disease sets in 2-3 years earlier than the coronary or other major vascular disease. So, while the health issues of men lie a secret, latest technologies and medical advents are coming in place to counter the risks and impart better health among men.

There are newer advents coming in the medical space. Endothelial function (Arterial stiffness and pulse wave velocity) can be measured by new generation of equipments. Endothelial dysfunction is thought to be a key event in the development of atherosclerosis (where an artery wall thickens as a result of the accumulation of calcium and fatty materials such as cholesterol and triglyceride) and predates clinically obvious vascular pathology by many years. In fact, it is shown to be of foretelling significance in predicting vascular events.

One test involves wrapping an inflatable cuff around the arm and upper thigh to measure the blood pressure, placing a pen like device over the neck to analyze the pulse waveforms. The test defines how long a heart beat took to travel from the outlet (heart) to the thigh through the aorta (main supplying artery). It takes about 5 minutes to complete this test. Another test involves placing two sensors over both the palms, wrapping an inflatable cuff around one arm. It takes about 12 minutes to complete this test.

These tests are internationally recognized measures for determining the stiffness of arteries. They have been shown to be the best predictors of cardiovascular health. They certainly hold the future of men’s health maintenance.

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