Screening - Heart Disease in Men

In the UK in 2017 cardiovascular disease was the leading cause of death amongst men, with 29% of deaths due to heart attack, stroke or related conditions. This compares with 6% of deaths from lung cancer, the most common cancer in men. Men often worry about prostate cancer, but this was responsible for just 4% deaths in the same year, a figure outweighed sevenfold by those dying from cardiovascular disease.

Unfortunately equivalent figures for the last few years are not so easily obtainable, since many people died from Covid-19 who would have otherwise died from other causes, but we will update these numbers as soon as the data are more readily available.

Compared with women, men are far more likely to present with a heart attack as the first manifestation of coronary artery disease. Given the high mortality that this carries, it is important that high risk individuals are identified early on so that with lifestyle changes and, if necessary, drug therapy, their risk can be significantly reduced. There are a number of very effective screening tools to identify high risk individuals but it is well recognised that men are far less likely than women to visit a doctor and so without concerted screening efforts many men will forgo the opportunity to reduce their cardiovascular risk.

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