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Chronic Diseases and Men

Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a disease of the immune system that is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). HIV can be transmitted by having unprotected sex with an infected person, sharing drug needles, or through contact with the blood of an infected person. Males accounted for 73.3 percent of all AIDS cases diagnosed nationally in 2007 and 73.9 percent of all AIDS cases diagnosed in Illinois in 2007.

Cardiovascular disease also is called heart disease, and refers to a group of diseases that affect the heart (cardio) and blood vessels (vascular). Cardiovascular diseases include coronary heart disease (heart attacks), cerebrovascular disease, raised blood pressure (hypertension), peripheral artery disease, rheumatic heart disease, congenital heart disease and heart failure. In 2006, the age-adjusted death rate for major cardiovascular diseases in the United States was 312 per 100,000 for men and 220.4 per 100,000 for women. In Illinois, the number of heart disease deaths per 100,000 was 257 for men and 165.3 for women.

Cigarette smoking and tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of disease, disability and death in the United States. Smoking harms nearly every organ of the body. In 2006, the prevalence of cigarette smoking was higher among men (23.9 percent) than women (18 percent). A similar pattern occurred in Illinois where 24.2 percent of men and 17 percent of women currently smoke.

Colorectal cancer is known as colon cancer. Colorectal refers to the colon and rectum. The majority of colorectal cancers begin as polyps – abnormal growths – inside the colon or rectum. In 2005, 72,007 men and 69,398 women in the United States were diagnosed with colorectal cancer and 26,781 men and 26,224 women died from colorectal cancer. For men, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer. In Illinois, 29,868 men and 29,470 women were diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2005 and 12,241 men and 12,009 women died from colorectal cancer.

Emphysema is a type of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) involving damage to the air sacs (alveoli) in the lungs. As a result, your body does not get the oxygen it needs. In 2007, 1.9 percent of men age 20 and older in the United States had emphysema compared to 1.4 percent of women.

Excessive alcohol use includes heavy drinking and binge drinking or both. Heavy drinking for men is more than two drinks a day on average. Binge drinking for men is five or more drinks during a single occasion. Men drink alcohol more excessively than women and average about 12.5 binge drinking episodes per person per year, while women average about 2.7 binge drinking episodes per year. In Illinois, 28.1 percent of men participated in acute/binge drinking in 2007, while 12.1 percent of women were at risk.

Diabetes is a group of diseases where blood glucose (sugar) levels are high. Glucose is a form of sugar your body uses for energy. Too much glucose in your blood can damage your body over time. Nationally, 12 million men age 20 and older have diabetes compared to 11.5 million women. From 1980 to 2006, the age-adjusted percentage of diagnosed diabetes increased 115 percent for men and 86 percent for women. In 2007, the number of men in Illinois who had been told by a doctor that they have diabetes was 9.7 percent compared to 7.9 percent for women.

Gonorrhea is the second most commonly reported sexually transmitted disease in the United States. In 2006, the gonorrhea rate among women was 124.3 and the rate among men was 116.8 cases per 100,000 population. Women's rates were highest among the 10 to 24 age group and men's rates were highest among the 25 to 65+ age groups. A similar pattern occurred in Illinois. In 2007, the rates of gonorrhea among women exceeded the rate among men, 173,6 per 100,000 compared to 150.4 per 100,000.

Trouble hearing or gradual hearing loss is common as one ages. More men than women, however, reported a little trouble hearing (15.6 to 10.6) and being deaf or a lot of trouble hearing (4.3 to 2.4) between 2000 to 2006.

Hepatitis A is an acute liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus. Hepatitis A is transmitted through the fecal-oral route, spreading primarily through close personal contact. In 2007, the incidence of hepatitis A among males nationally was 1.1 cases per 100,000 population, compared with 0.9 cases per 100,000 population among females.

Hepatitis B is transmitted by percutaneous or mucosal exposure to the blood or body fluids of an infected person, most often through injection-drug use (IDU), sexual contact with an infected person, or contact from an infected mother to her infant during delivery. In 2007, the rate of acute hepatitis B for males (1.9 cases per 100,000 population) was higher than that for females (1.2 cases per 100,000 population).

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is the most common chronic bloodborne infection in the United States; approximately 3.2 million persons are chronically infected. In 2004, among both the outpatient and inpatient setting, the age-adjusted rate of visits for hepatitis C was higher for males than females.

Lung cancer is a type of cancer that forms in tissues of the lung, usually in the cells lining air passages. The two main types are small cell lung cancer and non-small cell lung cancer. It is estimated that 116,100 men and 103,400 women in the United States will be diagnosed with lung and bronchus cancer in 2009 and 88,900 men and 70,500 women will die from lung and bronchus cancer in 2009. From 2002 to 2006, the age-adjusted incidence of lung and bronchus cancer among men in Illinois was 92.3 per 100,000 compared to 58.8 per 100,000 among women.

Prostate cancer forms in tissues of the prostate, which is a gland in the male reproductive system found below the bladder and in front of the rectum. Prostate cancer usually occurs in older men. It is estimated that 192,300 men will be diagnosed with and 27,400 men will die of cancer of the prostate in 2009. For Illinois males, prostate cancer was the most frequently diagnosed invasive cancer, accounting for 26.8 percent of 578,500 new cancer diagnoses in men during 1986-2006. Black males had the highest prostate cancer incidence rates among all race groups, approximately 50.4 percent higher than those observed for white males and nearly three times those observed for males of Asian/other races in Illinois.

Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease caused by bacteria. It infects the genital area, lips, mouth, or anus of both men and women. You usually get syphilis from sexual contact with someone who has it. In 2007, the rate of primary and secondary syphilis was higher in men (6.6 per 100,000) than women (1.1 per 100,000). In Illinois, males comprised 92 percent of the primary and secondary cases of syphilis in 2007 and females comprised 8 percent of the cases.