Men – it’s time to start taking better care of your health. The sad truth is that men die at higher rates than women. Experts believe this may be due to the fact that women are 33% more likely to visit a doctor than men.

For example, heart disease can often be caught and treated before it turns deadly. If you see your doctor on a regular basis, he or she can help you make lifestyle changes if your blood pressure or cholesterol levels increase. But if you don’t check in with your doctor, your first warning sign of heart disease may be a heart attack.

Here are the top five health concerns for men – and steps they can take to lower their risk.

1.Heart Disease
Although heart disease is the leading killer of both men and women, it kills almost twice as many men. Top risk factors include:

  • Increasing age
  • Male gender
  • Family history
  • African American, Mexican American, Native American, Native Hawaiian, and Asian American ethnicity
  • Smoking
  • High blood cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Physical inactivity
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Diabetes

Some factors, such as your age and gender, can’t be controlled. But modifying your lifestyle to eat right and exercise can reduce your risk of heart disease.

2. Stroke
Stroke is the third leading killer in the country with the incidence rate being 1.25 times greater in men than in women. Hypertension is a top risk factor and getting your blood pressure under control is a crucial factor for preventing the onset of stroke. Other risk factors include:

  • Increasing age
  • African American ethnicity
  • Gender – stroke is more common in men until age 75
  • Personal history of stroke or a transient ischemic attack
  • Diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • Heart disease
  • Smoking, including secondhand smoke
  • Physical inactivity
  • Obesity
  • Alcohol and substance abuse

A healthy lifestyle – eating right and getting enough exercise – can significantly reduce your risk for hypertension – and with it, lower your stroke risk.

3. Suicide and Depression
Society often tells men to ignore pain. But this can lead to men being less likely to seek help for depression. As a result, men are four times more likely to commit suicide than women.

Men often show different depression symptoms than women. These symptoms include:

  • Anger
  • Aggression
  • Work “burnout”
  • Risk-taking behavior
  • Midlife crisis
  • Alcohol and substance abuse

If you or a loved one experiences these symptoms, reach out to your physician or a behavior health specialist. Ignoring symptoms may worsen depression and thoughts of suicide.

4. Lung Cancer
Lung cancer is the leading cancer killer of both men and women, claiming more lives than prostate, colon, and breast cancer combined. Besides smoking, the American Cancer Society lists the following as risk factors for lung cancer:

  • Exposure to secondhand smoke
  • Exposure to asbestos or radon
  • Personal history
  • Air pollution

According to the National Institute on Aging, as soon as you stop smoking, your chances of getting cancer from smoking begin to shrink. You can also prevent further damage to your lungs.

5. Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer and the second leading type of cancer death in men. Although experts are not sure what causes the cancer, it’s treatable if found during the early stages. However, prostate cancer often does not have any symptoms until it’s already spread to other areas of the body.

Risk factors include:

  • Increasing age
  • North American and northwestern European heritage.
  • High-fat diet

The American Cancer Society recommends healthy men get an annual prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test and digital rectal exam starting at age 50. Men who are at a higher risk should begin testing earlier.