Genetically speaking, males have a higher risk of developing coronary heart disease. Researchers have discovered that males have a repetitive strip (short telomeres) of DNA that cap the end of chromosomes and may have a higher heart risk than those with long telomeres.
Shorter telomeres are older cells. Thus, males with a short telomere are at higher risk for heart disease than males with a long telomere length. This finding is only an indicator of risk and not a predictor of disease.
A study in 2003 found that the male hormone testosterone activates the genes that accelerate heart disease. This may explain why in the middle years of life males tend to have more heart disease than women. It could also explain why men on average die 5 years earlier than women.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in males second to cancer with unintentional injuries coming in third.
On average males develop heart disease some 10 to 15 years earlier than women do.
Males can take preventative measure to reduce their risk for heart disease by not smoking, or by not using any other tobacco product, by eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables and by avoiding a high-fat diet. They should also try to maintain proper weight for their height and get at least 30 minutes of exercise each day.
Males with the disease diabetes should make sure that they have it under control because when diabetes is out of control it can lead to heart disease. Males should have their cholesterol levels checked and also have their blood pressure checked on a regular basis. Males should also ask their doctor about the benefits of taking a low dose daily aspirin.
Males can benefit from understanding the risk factors for heart disease so that they can understand which ones are controllable such as smoking, overeating, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. It is important to make lifestyle changes while young to avoid potential heart disease later in life. It is easier to make lifestyle changes when young such as good eating habits, and not smoking.
Males should seek medical advice regarding diet and exercise especially if they have any chronic diseases.