Avoid These 10 Leading Causes of Death in Men

avoid these 10 leading causes of death in men
You can avoid these 10 leading causes of death in men.

Men have a shorter lifespan than women. On average, a man can live to 70-75 years of age while a woman can expect to live between 80-85 years. There are many things men can do to improve their longevity such as cycling, walking around the block or exercising daily. However, without knowing the exact causes of their ill health, men will continue to die at an early age than women.

To help men enjoy a longer and healthier life, this article will focus on the leading causes of death in men and their possible prevention measures. It aims to provide a solid read for a complete understanding.

Heart Disease

Heart disease is an umbrella term which medical professionals use to describe several heart conditions. Although it’s the dominating cause of death in both men and women, men suffer from it the most. 

Many of these conditions develop due to the buildup of plaque in the arteries. As the plaque grows, the arteries become constricted, making it difficult for blood to flow around the body. As a result, the risk of heart attack or stroke increases.

Symptoms of Heart Attack

  • Chest discomfort which may feel like squeezing, uncomfortable pressure, or pain in the centre of the chest.
  • Upper body discomfort that may cause pain in the neck, jaw, back, or arms.
  • Shortness of breath with chest discomfort.
  • A feeling of nausea or light-headedness.

Preventive Measures

  • Take a diet that is low in saturated fat or cholesterol and high in fibres.
  • Keep a healthy weight and exercise regularly.
  • Keep your blood pressure under control.
  • Avoid smoking

If your condition doesn’t improve despite following all these steps, then consult with your doctor.

Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer occurs in the prostate gland, which produces seminal fluid. This fluid is necessary for nourishing and transporting sperm.

Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in men, particularly in black men. It grows gradually and remains confined to the prostate gland during the initial stages where it may not cause serious harm. However, once it spreads to other organs of the body such as bladder, bones, or other organs, it may become incurable.

Symptoms of Prostate Cancer

There may be no signs and symptoms during the early stages. However, advanced prostate cancer may cause you to experience the following symptoms:

  • Trouble urinating
  • Blood in semen
  • Bone pain
  • Decreased force in the stream of urine
  • Erectile dysfunction

Preventive Measures

  • Eat more fruits and vegetables
  • Avoid taking supplements
  • Exercise 4-5 days a week
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Get regular health checkups

Apart from prostate cancer and lung cancer; colorectal, liver, and bladder cancer are the major cancer types that can be listed among the leading causes of death in men.

Avoiding regular checkups is one of the leading causes of death in men
Avoiding Regular Checkups Is One of the Leading Causes of Death in Men


A stroke occurs due to interruption of blood flow to one of the areas of the brain. The disruption is often caused by a blood clot in an artery or a broken blood vessel. As a result, the death of brain cells occurs, which leads to brain damage. This condition can result in loss of memory, speech, movement, or even death.

Symptoms of Stroke

  • Sudden numbness or weakness on one side of the body (face, arm, leg, etc.)
  • Unexpected troubles in your ability to speak or understand
  • Trouble seeing from one or both eyes
  • Sudden dizziness or loss of coordination
  • Sudden difficulty in walking
  • Severe headache with no apparent reason

Preventive Measures

  • Keep your blood pressure under control
  • Avoid the use of tobacco
  • Increase your physical activity – exercise regularly
  • Maintain a balanced weight
  • Avoid excessive alcohol intake
  • Avoid using illegal drugs

Unintentional Injuries

Among the black men aged between 12-44 years, an accidental injury is also among the common leading causes of death in men. These injuries may include road accidents, work-mishaps, falls, drowning, and more.

Preventive Measures

Though avoiding accidents is virtually impossible, there are many ways to reduce your risk of accidental death, such as staying alert while driving and workplace safety. Similarly, wearing seatbelts and never driving or working on heavy machinery while under the influence of alcohol/other drugs can help you avoid unintentional injuries.


Diabetes can be referred to as insulin deficiency in our body or the reduced capability of our body to use insulin. Insulin is a hormone which allows glucose in our blood to enter cells and turn them into energy. However, untreated diabetes can cause glucose and fats to remain in the bloodstream. This damages vital organs in our body and may lead to severe heart conditions.

Diabetes has two types: Type 1 and Type 2.

Type 1 involves the immune system attacking insulin-producing cells, while Type 2 is more about sugar buildup in your bloodstream.

Most black men are affected by Type 2 diabetes. In most cases, they don’t even know that they have this disease until they experience symptoms.

Symptoms of Diabetes

  • Frequent urination
  • Excessive thirst
  • Irritability
  • Blurry vision
  • Unusual weight loss
  • Increased fatigue
  • Extreme hunger

Preventive Measures

  • Don’t allow your blood pressure to go too high
  • Keep your blood glucose level under control
  • Keep your cholesterol levels under control
  • Avoid smoking
  • Increase physical activity
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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases

This term refers to two lung diseases – chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Both these diseases cause blockage in the airflow, which leads to breathing issues. Smoking is one of the fundamental causes of this disease, and those who smoke regularly are 12-times more likely to die of COPD than the non-smokers. COPD is also one of the most significant contributors to the development of lung cancer. Other pollutants such as radon, car exhaust, and asbestos may also contribute to lung problems.

Symptoms of COPD

  • Increased mucus
  • Chronic cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Reduced capacity for physical activity

Preventive Measures

  • Avoid smoking and keep yourself away from secondhand smoke
  • Keep your exposure minimum to toxic chemicals at the workplace


Homicide is one of the primary causes of death in black men. It’s the primary cause of death among young black men aged between 15-34 years. According to a 2017 study, the death rate among black people was around 1,080 per 100,000 men, compared to 885 for white men.

The following breakdown of death by age group will give you a good idea of the percentage of homicide deaths among young black men:

  • Ages 15-19 (rate of total deaths: 50.8%)
  • Ages 20-24 (rate of total deaths: 49.6%)
  • Ages 25-34 (percentage of total deaths: 34.1%)

The sad part is that the phenomenon isn’t new. Young black men have been the biggest victims of homicides over the years, and serious preventative measures must be taken to improve the situation.

Preventive Measures

  • Use the arts to create harmony between different types of populations
  • Teach relationship-building skills
  • Create street-level youth programs
  • Fund schools and teach culturally relevant courses

Kidney Disease

Kidney disease develops slowly and often goes unnoticed until the kidneys have almost failed. This is why it’s so fatal and kills thousands of men around the world every year. Once your kidneys lose the ability to filter blood, the death is almost inevitable.

Symptoms of Kidney Disease

  • Changes in urination
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Skin rash or severe itching
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Pain in the leg, back or side

Preventive Measures

  • Exercise regularly
  • Drink a lot of fluids
  • Avoid smoking
  • Get regular checkups for diabetes and high blood pressure

Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia. Dementia is a term used for a group of conditions that reduce your cognitive functionality.

Alzheimer’s disease causes damage to neurons which eventually impairs your ability to perform everyday activities such as walking and swallowing.

Alzheimer’s is also the only disease on this list that can neither be prevented nor cured or slowed down.

Symptoms of Alzheimer’s

  • Memory loss
  • Difficulty in performing everyday tasks
  • Rapid mood swings without any reason
  • Lack of attraction in activities that you once liked


Septicemia is the last one in our list of leading causes of death in men. Septicemia is also known as blood poisoning. It is a severe bloodstream infection and occurs when a bacterial infection elsewhere in the body enters the bloodstream.

Septicemia can quickly become fatal and must be treated by a specialist. If left untreated, it may grow into sepsis which can lead to the formation of blood clots and stop oxygen from reaching vital organs. Sepsis can be fatal in many cases.

Symptoms of Sepsis

  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Fast breathing
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Rapid heart rate

Preventive Measures

  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Avoid smoking
  • Exercise regularly
  • Keep your hands clean
  • Avoid illegal drugs

Wrapping It Up

There can also be other causes of death, but they are not as common as the 10 leading causes of death described above. Bear in mind that prevention is always better than cure, and a healthy lifestyle would not only prevent some of these illnesses but will also extend your total lifespan.


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