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Introducing NYULMC's Preston Robert Tisch Center for Men's Health

Introducing NYULMC's Preston Robert Tisch Center for Men's Health

Friday, February 28, 2014

1Blame it on machismo, social conditioning, or something in the DNA, but when it comes to their health, many men are notoriously and dangerously neglectful. A persistent ache or pain? Just grin and bear it. Time for an annual checkup? Put it off until there’s more time. Physicians lament that some men take better care of their cars than their own bodies. On average, men die 5.4 years younger than women.

“Part of it is the manly ideal, part of it is fear factor,” explains Steven Lamm, MD, clinical assistant professor of medicine (pictured above left). “They’re afraid the doctor will find something wrong that restricts their work or activities.” The consequence, he adds, is that men—especially those who don’t have a partner to coax or cajole them to visit the doctor—tend to get “lost” in the healthcare system after their pediatric years. During middle age, fully a quarter of them start accumulating metabolic baggage: obesity, high blood pressure, and elevated blood sugar and cholesterol, putting them at risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

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The Metabolic Syndrome: A Menace to Men's Health

The Metabolic Syndrome: A Menace to Men's Health

Harvey B. Simon, M.D. is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and a member of the Health Sciences Technology Faculty at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 

Metabolic syndrome isn't as well known as heart disease, diabetes, or cancer when it comes to health threats to American men. But if present trends continue, that's likely to change. Why? Because about 47 million Americans have the metabolic syndrome — although many don't know it. Metabolic syndrome doubles a man's risk of having a stroke or dying from heart disease. And new research suggests the syndrome also contributes to cognitive decline, kidney disease, and liver disease. If that's not bad enough, the metabolic syndrome nearly doubles a man's risk of prostate cancer.

Daily exercise not only helps prevent this menace, but it can reverse the metabolic syndrome should it develop. To keep it away, exercise needs to be part of your daily schedule.

The Fearsome Five
The metabolic syndrome is a cluster of five closely-related cardiovascular risk factors. Each is dangerous in its own right, but having several of these at the same time creates an even greater health risk than any one does on its own.

To be diagnosed with the metabolic syndrome, a person has to have any three of the following five abnormalities. Having four or five of these conditions at the same time makes for an even more hazardous situation.

Risk Factor

Criterion

Abdominal obesity

Waist circumference of 40 inches or more (35 inches or more for women)

Fasting triglyceride levels

150 mg/dL or higher

HDL cholesterol levels

Below 40 mg/dL HDL (below 50 mg/dL for women

Blood pressure

130/85 mmHg or higher

Fasting blood sugar

110 mg/dL or higher

Media Contact

Steven Lamm, MD

  • (212) 988-1146