Although both sexes generally share the same path to good health, the road splits when it comes to men and women's individual health needs.
These differences sometimes result in one sex being more at risk of certain illnesses and conditions than the other.
For men, the prevalence of a handful of health statistics may alarm you, as may the relatively low profile of others.
While we navigate a few of the more frightening men's health statistics, keep in mind that correlation does not always imply causation, as it's not always clear what kindles these trends.
Did you know that men can be victims of abuse, too? Follow on to find out how frequently this phenomenon occurs.
Domestic abuse isn't limited to women -- men are often victims as well, even at the hands of their romantic partners.
One source even thinks the number is underestimated because police are less likely to file reports if the quarrel is domestic, as opposed to an altercation between two strangers [source: Cook].
In addition, men were 9 percent less likely than women to report any crime if they are victims, according to one analysis [source: McLeod]. The Justice Department found similar results, stating that men are 11 percent less likely to report a violent crime against them [source: Cook]. Another reason this frightening statistic is not well-known is because cases of mutual abuse -- in which both a man and a woman are violent -- overshadow cases in which men are sole victims.
Read on to learn about the No. 1 killer of men in the United States.
Heart disease kills more men in the United States than any other cause or ailment.
For instance, heart disease caused approximately 26 percent of men's deaths in 2006 [source: CDC]. Frighteningly, more than half of men who develop heart disease show few or no symptoms. Some heart complications in men aren't apparent until a man falls into cardiac arrest, in which the heart stops functioning normally.
Heart disease affects many women as well, but it's more common in men.
Which factors contribute to this statistic?
Though the cause varies by person, lifestyle factors, including cholesterol, blood pressure, smoking, alcohol consumption and obesity may increase a person's risk of developing heart disease.
Read on to learn how accidents contribute to our next men's health statistic.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, these accidents range from motor vehicle collisions to accidental death by poisoning or drug overdose.
We don't know why more men die in accidents, but we can look to two other statistics for clues.
For one, men are 10 percent less likely to wear seat belts while driving a car [source: CDC].
Second, the fact that men die from drug overdoses twice as often as women may influence this statistic as well [source: CDC]. Among both sexes, middle-aged individuals, or those between 45 and 54 years of age, were the highest at risk.
The universality of the next men's health statistic may surprise you. Read on to find out more.
Sadly, suicide remained the seventh leading cause of death for men in the year 2007. In total, men take their own lives four times more often than women, and male suicides comprise nearly 80 percent of all suicides in the United States [source: CDC].
Data show that factors other than sex -- such as age -- play a role, too. In fact, suicide is at its highest among males who are 75 years or older.
This statistic is especially frightening when we consider its presence worldwide. Even in countries outside the United States, suicide remains more common among men than women [source: World Health Organization].
One of the more frightening men's health statistics involves staying healthy. Head over to the next page to learn more.
Men between the ages of 18 and 44 are less likely to go to the doctor than women [source: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services]. Specifically, men are 70 percent less likely to seek treatment when compared to their female counterparts.
This trend is especially evident in men who do not have easy access to adequate healthcare.
A few factors may contribute to this statistic. For one, men are less likely to have health insurance than women, which may cause them to avoid expensive doctor visits [source: CDC]. In addition, upholding a "tough" mentality probably factors into the equation as well.
Overall, however, men and women postpone making a doctor appointment until they feel sick or experience a medical emergency. Attending routine checkups and exams is extremely important in preventing health problems for both sexes.
Peruse the next page for more details on men's health statistics.
HowStuffWorks looks at a study linking time spent with childhood friends with improved outcomes in men's health.
- Bureau of Justice Statistics. "Intimate Partner Violence in the U.S." March 6, 2011. (March 6, 2011).http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/intimate/victims.cfm
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Lack of Health Insurance and Type of Coverage." June 2010. (Feb. 27, 2011).http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhis/earlyrelease/earlyrelease201006.pdf
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Leading Cause of Death in Females." Feb. 19, 2010. (Feb. 27, 2011).http://www.cdc.gov/women/lcod/index.htm
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Leading Cause of Death in Males, United States, 2006." June 4, 2010. (Feb. 27, 2011).http://www.cdc.gov/men/lcod/index.htm
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Men and Heart Disease Factsheet." Dec. 20, 2010. (Feb. 26. 2011).http://www.cdc.gov/DHDSP/data_statistics/fact_sheets/fs_men_heart.htm
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Suicide: Facts at a Glance." 2009. (Feb. 27, 2011).http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/Suicide-DataSheet-a.pdf
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Unintentional Drug Poisoning in the United States." July 2010. (Feb. 27, 2011).http://www.cdc.gov/HomeandRecreationalSafety/pdf/poison-issue-brief.pdf
- Cook, Philip. "Abused Men." Praeger Publishers. 2009.
- Mayo Clinic. "Male Breast Cancer." MayoClinic.com. Jan. 16, 2010. (Feb. 26, 2011).http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/male-breast-cancer/DS00661
- McLeod, Maureen. "Women against men: An examination of domestic violence based on an analysis of official data and national victimization data." Justice Quarterly. 1, 2. 171-193. 1984. (March 1, 2011).http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~db=all~content=a718864576~tab=citations
- National Institute of Mental Health. "Depression in Men." March 31, 2009. (Feb. 27, 2011).http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression/men-and-depression/depression-in-men.shtml
- National Institute of Mental Health. "Suicide in the U.S.: Statistics and Prevention." Sept. 27, 2010. (Feb. 26, 2011).http://www.mentalhealth.gov/health/publications/suicide-in-the-us-statistics-and-prevention/index.shtml#risk
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. "Suicide Prevention." Sept. 30, 2010. (Feb. 26, 2011).http://www.samhsa.gov/prevention/suicide.aspx
- Tjaden, Patricia and Thoennes, Nancy. "Full Report of the Prevalence, Incidence and Consequences of Violence Against Women. National Institutes of Justice and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2000. (Feb. 26, 2011).http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/183781.pdf
- World Health Organization. "Suicide Rates." 2003. (Feb. 26, 2011).http://www.who.int/mental_health/prevention/suicide/suiciderates/en/