Did you know that men tend to develop heart disease about ten years earlier than women? This puts men at a greater risk of having a heart attack at a younger age.
There’s a lot at play for why that may be, but it’s important to understand that once you have heart disease, you’ll have it for life. Although certain surgeries and procedures can help increase blood flow and ease your symptoms, they won’t cure the disease.
There’s no better time than now to implement heart healthy habits, so you can avoid heart disease altogether. But it’s also important to watch out for these unique early warning signs men may experience.
What should you watch out for?
Here are a few early warning signs that are specific to men that you shouldn’t ignore:
- Erectile dysfunction can be an early warning sign of heart issues. Men in their 40s who experience this problem have an 80% chance of developing heart issues within the next ten years.
- Diminished sex drive, which is often linked to low testosterone levels, is another warning sign. Growing research suggests low testosterone levels are linked to both type 2 diabetes and heart disease, in general.
- Chest pain or discomfort are among the earliest signs of active heart disease in men—sometimes paired with dizziness or fatigue. It’s easy to pass these symptoms off as something less serious, but you should talk about them with your doctor.
- Other early signs of heart disease in men include nausea, shortness of breath, a fast pulse, sweating, swelling and weakness.
What can you do to prevent heart disease?
Your annual men’s wellness exam is a great place to start. It’s almost always covered by insurance and helps make sure you’re staying on track for a long, healthy life. Your doctor can order important tests and screenings for things like heart disease, prostate cancer and diabetes—which just might save your life.
It’s never too late to start protecting your heart, so don’t let your age stop you. Any prevention and lifestyle improvements you make now will help you in the long run.
Is your heart healthy?
Complete our free Heart Healthy Quiz to see if you have a good handle on your heart health and to learn about lifestyle changes you can make to keep your heart healthy.