Hey, Guys, a Little Knowledge Can Go a Long Way

Men, how much do you know about your health? Lots? Enough to fit on the head of a pin with room to spare?

Here's a health quiz from Men's Health magazine. Even if you fail, you'll pass because you'll know a little bit more than you did before.

1. What health threat is the biggest killer of men in the United States?

a. lung cancer

b. cardiovascular disease

c. auto accidents

Answer: (b) In a recent year, male deaths from heart disease numbered 450,523; from lung cancer, 95,763; from auto accidents, 29,164.

2. How often should you have your blood pressure measured?

a. every 6 months

b. every year

c. every 3 years

Answer: (b) You should have your blood pressure checked by your doctor at least once a year; more often if you have high blood pressure or risk factors (such as being overweight) for developing it.

3. What's the recommended minimum number of servings of fruits and vegetables you should eat each day?

a. 3

b. 4

c. 5

Answer: (c) U.S. Department of Agriculture dietary guidelines recommend you eat at least three servings of vegetables and two servings of fruit every day for optimum nutrition.

4. What nutrient should make up the bulk of your diet?

a. fat

b. protein

c. carbohydrate

Answer: (c) The average man should get a minimum of 60% of his daily calories from carbohydrate, no less than 10% from protein and no more than 30% from fat.

5. As a general rule, at what age should you have your first PSA test for prostate cancer?

a. 30

b. 40

c. 50

Answer: (c) However, your doctor may recommend you begin testing at age 40 if you are African American or if you have a family history of prostate cancer. (Both facts increase your risk for developing it.)

6. The doctor takes your blood pressure and tells you it's 170 over 90. This reading is considered:

a. low

b. in the normal range

c. high

Answer: (c) Blood pressure is expressed as two numbers: systolic pressure (during a heartbeat) over diastolic pressure (between heartbeats). Repeated readings of 140 / 90 or greater denote high blood pressure.

7. You've taken a cholesterol test. The results indicate your LDL reading is low, but your HDL is very high. You should be:

a. placed on cholesterol-lowering drugs

b. slightly concerned

c. very pleased

Answer: (c) HDL cholesterol is the "good" kind; it helps clear your arteries of the fatty deposits, or plaque, that can cause heart attacks and strokes. LDL is the "bad" fraction--high blood levels tend to stimulate plaque buildup.

8. Impotence affects approximately how many men in the United States?

a. 180,000

b. 1.8 million

c. 18 million

Answer: (c) Impotence, the consistent inability to have or maintain a satisfactory erection, afflicts an estimated 18 million American men--but as many as 30 million suffer its occasional effects. Research suggests as many as 50% of all men between the ages of 40 and 70 experience problems maintaining their erections.

9. What's the best type of exercise for improving your cholesterol profile?

a. walking

b. sit-ups

c. push-ups

Answer: (a) Regular aerobic exercise--brisk walking included--can lower LDL cholesterol, while raising blood levels of HDL too.

10. What's the best exercise to preserve bone mass?

a. walking

b. weight-lifting

c. running

Answer: (b) Resistance training with weights has been shown to preserve bone as well as build muscle.

11. As a man, which disease don't you have to worry about getting?

a. breast cancer

b. osteoporosis

c. cystitis

Answer: Trick question. Though not as common among men as women, all of these conditions can threaten a man's health.

12. Of all AIDS cases in the United States, approximately what percentage is male?

a. 50%

b. 79%

c. 84%

Answer: (c) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that through June of 1997, 516,003 men in the United States have been diagnosed with AIDS.

13. The most common site of cancer diagnosis is:

a. the prostate gland

b. the lungs

c. the skin

Answer: (c) The American Cancer Society projects that over 1 million cases of highly curable basal cell or squamous cell cancers, plus another 41,600 of the more serious melanoma, will be diagnosed in the United States this year. Skin cancers, however, are some of the most curable cancers, if they're caught early.

14. How many men in the United States have diabetes--and don't know it?

a. 25,000

b. 250,000

c. 2.5 million

Answer: (c) That's one-third of all men with the disease, according to estimates from the American Diabetes Assn. Classic symptoms include extreme thirst, occasional blurry vision, frequent urination, unusual tiredness or drowsiness and unexplained weight loss. If you have any of them, see your doctor.

15. If you exercise regularly, how much water should you be drinking every day?

a. 4 to 6 glasses

b. 6 to 8 glasses

c. 10 to 11 glasses

Answer: (c) If you exercise regularly you'll need at least two or three more glasses than the recommended eight a day if you plan on improving your performance in the gym. Sports nutritionists say that even mild dehydration can leave you feeling weak and may cut into your gains.


Copyright 1998 by Men's Health magazine

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