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Legacy in the News: What ails you?

Portland Tribune (Community Newspapers) Healthy Life Insert

February 2013

Leonard Mankin, MD, Internist at Legacy Medical Group—Good Samaritan and associate program director for the internal medicine residency program at Legacy Health, spoke to the Portland Tribune about the main causes of death in men in the United States and what can be done to mitigate short and long term risks.

Dr. Mankin pointed to the “Western lifestyle” as the main culprit. High blood pressure, smoking and obesity all put men at higher risk of heart attack, which is the number one cause of death in men (25.5%).

“Being a man and being older put you at higher risk,” said Dr. Mankin. “Then beyond that we have what are called the ‘modifiable risk factors’, with high blood pressure, tobacco smoking and high blood lipids being the most important modifiable risk factors.”

His main advice for men to stay healthy is clear: Don’t smoke or quit smoking. After all, four of the top causes of death in men—heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory disease and stroke—are clearly linked to tobacco use.

Dr. Mankin also recommends that men “eat a sensible diet, which is low is saturated fat and high in fiber and vegetables and lean meats, and keep weight down in the non-obese range. Control high blood pressure.”

He also recommends those at higher risk of heart disease should take medications such as aspirin, a blood thinner, or statins, which lower cholesterol.

Dr. Mankin also stresses the importance of cancer prevention by again, quitting smoking and getting regular colonoscopies.

The third leading cause of death in men is “unintentional injuries” such as firearms and automobile fatalities. For the latter, Dr. Mankin explained that the best preventative measures one can take is not driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, driving while drowsy and always wearing a seatbelt.