28 March, 2011

Preventive and health promotion in men over 40 years

Currently in our country and, in general, in the Western world, the most important causes of death in quantitative terms are cancer and cardiovascular diseases, including those affecting the heart and brain. Among the three constitute approximately 50% of all deaths annually, ie, one in two people die because of some of them.

It has been shown repeatedly that the abandonment of snuff is a huge health benefit.

In males, the most common cancers that cause death, are the trachea, bronchus and lung in the first place, followed by cancer of the stomach and the prostate .

Today, with the knowledge we have we can say without mistaken fear that many of these deaths could be prevented if measures were put in place health promotion and prevention of cardiovascular disease, which have been shown to be effective.

In man the leading cause of cancer death in our country is the bronchial cancer and lung cancer, with mortality rates of 54 per 100,000 inhabitants. One of the measures to be taken to dramatically reduce mortality from lung cancer is smoking cessation . It has been shown repeatedly that the abandonment of snuff is a huge benefit.

Preventive Actions

Currently the implementation of systematic prevention activities in the field of Primary Health Care is based on the realization of a periodic health examination. This is the application of various measures of health promotion and disease prevention with appropriate intervals to age and sex of those whom they are addressed.

Traditionally, and until well into the decade of 70, the preventive screenings, also called checks, were performed with a fixed frequency, usually annually. As the epidemiological and clinical studies provided more accurate data about the natural history of disease, became known periods of vulnerability (susceptibility to suffer a particular disease) and was opting for periodic reviews of health. In some cases the application of a preventive measure may be indicated on an annual basis and in others can be performed with longer intervals. Sometimes, however, the variables age and sex alone can not justify taking a preventative measure, so it is necessary to identify groups that share a number of features that increase the likelihood of developing a certain disease. It is in this way does the concept of risk.

The high-risk groups may be determined for reasons as diverse as genetic conditions, the presence of preexisting conditions, personal habits or behavior or simply belonging to a population with a large frequency of the disease.

In this article we will address the following activities of health promotion and disease prevention that can benefit men older than 40 years:

  • Detection of smoking and smoking cessation advice.

  • Detection of hypertension or high blood pressure.

  • Screening for cholesterol or high blood cholesterol.

  • Other activities.


is estimated that in US smokes about one in three people, and among the population over 40 years smoke one in two people. We also know people who smoke more than upper middle class (about 45%) and those living in big cities.

Today it is indisputable that smoking is the most common preventable cause of premature death in developed countries. In europe die each year some 40,000 people from diseases directly related to snuff, among which ischemic heart disease by obstruction of the coronary arteries that are supplying the heart muscle, lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease of the bronchi and blood vessel disease of the brain.

It has been shown that the degree of awareness of people about the harmful effects of snuff is low. For this reason the physician should undertake the following tasks on their patients:

  • Question all patients about their smoking

  • Advise all smokers to quit

  • Helping those who want to quit to get

  • Agree monitoring visits.

Quitting smoking is therefore one of the main activities for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, which cause, as mentioned, a large number of deaths in Spain.

Detection of hypertension or high blood pressure

Hypertension is defined as a sustained elevation of blood pressure levels above those considered normal and, at this time, because of the evidence accumulated by numerous scientific studies over in recent years, is set at 140/90 mmHg (or millimeters of mercury).

We know for a fact that this disease is a risk factor of prime importance for the heart and blood vessels. Currently one in three adults have this disease.

The benefits of treatment have been clearly established and proven in numerous medical studies. At present it is recommended to measure and record blood pressure of blood every two years in men older than 40 years. In cases in which blood pressure is kept high so many records, often require treatment and medical follow-up long term.

Cholesterol or high blood cholesterol

Numerous scientific studies have taught us that the numbers of blood cholesterol are associated with disease and death caused by heart problems and blood vessels. The risk of any of these health problems increases progressively as they rise in cholesterol levels in the blood, so they pose a predictor or announcer of all deaths in men aged 40 to 60 years. In this group of people are much more common traditional cardiovascular risk factors like high blood pressure, use of snuff and a sedentary lifestyle or lack of exercise, among others.

At present the treatment of hypercholesterolemia in primary prevention , ie before the disease appears, requires classifying patients according to individual risk assessment, and medications only treat the cases where it is most likely that the benefits outweigh the risks.

The situation changes when we secondary prevention, ie when the patient has the disease in its early stages, not yet clearly manifest. In these cases, medications to treat high blood cholesterol have proved their usefulness in different medical studies.

In general, it is recommended to men aged between 35 and 40 years to 65 years a determination of total blood cholesterol every 5 years and opportunistically, ie, use of other reasons for medical consultation.

talk about high levels of cholesterol in the blood when the patient has a higher level of 250 mg / dl; discuss borderline high cholesterol with cholesterol levels between 200 and 250 mg / dl, and those figures desirable cholesterol below 200 mg / dl.

When a patient has already had a cardiovascular disease such as angina pectoris, a myocardial infarction or stroke, diagnosis of hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol) is set as a fraction of cholesterol called LDL (English acronym for the so-called low-density lipoprotein or low density lipoprotein). We speak in these cases of hypercholesterolemia when the number of LDL cholesterol (or "bad" cholesterol) is greater than 130 mg / dL cholesterol to the upper limit when the LDL cholesterol is between 100 and 130 mg / dl, and when it is desirable cholesterol below 100 mg / dl.

Treatment of cardiovascular diseases

in the treatment of these health problems always pass the initial steps by changes in lifestyle, such as monitoring of a diet low in animal fats (reducing the consumption of fatty meats, sausages, whole milk, eggs, fatty pastries, etc..), the practice of regular physical exercise and avoiding overweight and high alcohol consumption. In some cases when these measures fail and require the use of specific drugs.

Activities or measures for the prevention of cardiovascular disease

or activities The following measures have proved effective in promoting health and preventing disease:

  • Physical exercise on a regular basis, tailored to the individual characteristics of each person.

  • Prevent overweight and obesity, controlling the power.

  • Follow a diet low in animal fats and rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, fish, etc.. (So-called Mediterranean diet). Determine the level of blood cholesterol at least every 5 years.

  • Prevent abuse of Alcohol .

  • Do not smoke or quit if you smoke.

  • Measure and record your blood pressure regularly, at least every 2 years. See your doctor if you have persistently high numbers of blood pressure.

  • Vaccinated against tetanus every 10 years and the flu every year, especially if you belong to any of the groups most at risk.

  • Avoid sun exposure too.

  • Early detection of some cancers such as colon, in patients with a family history of disease or risk factors.

  • Early detection and treatment of patients with high risk factors for coronary artery disease, so common in men over 40 years.

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