One of the major public health issues among middle age males is diabetes since they are twice as likely to suffer from the disease as compared to their female counterparts. Generally, the rate of diabetes has increased in the recent past to an extent that 8% of the American population have the disease, especially children and adults. The main reason for the increase of the rate of diabetes is that the risk of type 2 diabetes increases with age. The other risk factors include an inactive lifestyle, being obese or overweight, a history of the disease in immediate family, and a diet with high sugar and low fiber. As the rate of diabetes has increased among children and adults, much increase has occurred among the male population, especially middle age males. Therefore, it is increasingly important to examine the major health risks incurred by the middle age male population and develop effective strategies for health promotion to lessen the risk of the disease.
Overview of the Target Population:
Middle age male population is a term that refers to adult men between young adulthood and old age. Generally, this period is usually past the young adulthood stage but before the commencement of old age. The conclusions of several initiatives in defining this age group state that middle age is usually approximately the third quarter of the average life span of many people or humans. This implies that middle age adults are men and women between 40 and 60 years old. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, middle age population in 2009 accounted for more than 10% of America's total population with 49% of them male and the rest female ("America's Middle Boomers," 2013). However, by the year 2030, the current middle boomers will account for 6% of the population because they will be more than 70 years and be part of the country's aging population
In 2009, the racial and ethnic composition of the middle age population was 73% non-Hispanic white, 11% non-Hispanic black, 4% non-Hispanic Asian, 10% Hispanic, and the other races accounted for 2%. One of the main considerations in the recent past regarding the middle age male population is the increase in the rate of suicide despite decrease in the crime rates among this population. This is primarily because of feelings of loneliness brought by structural unemployment and declining rates of birth and marriage, which leaves them anxious, disconnected, and alone. The second major consideration regarding middle age male population is that annual mortality starts to increase more evident during this lifespan development stage. This is primarily because of age-related health issues among these people such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Since life expectancy is much lower during this period, the risk of death is much higher as compared to other stages in life.
Middle age males tend to show visible signs of aging like changes in hair color to grey and increased loss of skin elasticity. With increase in age, these individuals experience waning physical fitness, decreased aerobic performance, amassing of body fat, and decline in maximal heart rate. While these individuals age at different rates, the strength and flexibility of middle age males decreases throughout this lifespan development stage.
Major Health Risks Incurred by Middle Age Male Population:
The United States has continued to experience a decrease in mortality rates for older adults since the 1960s. The decreased mortality rates contribute to the need and significance of evaluating the role of health promotion and prevention in enhancing the health and survival of older adults (Davis et al., 1994, 369). Based on the findings of epidemiological studies, gender differences and age have an impact on health behaviors, which in turn affect the survival of individuals. One of the major groups in the population that has experienced low mortality rates is the middle age adult population. The low mortality rates among middle age adult population are attributed to the health behaviors of this group. In addition, the mortality rate of middle age adult population is also influenced by socio-demographic factors like physical activity, race, income, and employment status.
Generally, middle age males usually encounter some major health problems primarily because of their age. The other factors are risky health behaviors like smoking, non-recreational behavior, low body mass index, and drinking or alcoholism. One of the major problems experienced by this population is the increasingly visible signs of aging like graying of their hair and loss of skin elasticity. Secondly, these people encounter the problem of accumulation of body fat, which enhances the risk of some health problems. The accumulation of body fat contributes to the problem of waning physical fitness and reduced physical activity, which increases the risk of cardiac arrest due to a decrease in maximal heart rate. The risk of heart disease also increases because of the declining flexibility and strength throughout the entire middle age stage. The other problem that has emerged among this population is increased suicide rate, which has increased at an alarming rate in the recent past. According to reports by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the rate of suicide among middle age population, especially males has increased by over 28% in the past decade because of socio-demographic factors (Reinberg, 2013).
The Problem of Diabetes:
Middle age males have experienced the problem of diabetes, which has emerged as a major public health concern among this population in the past few years. The risk and prevalence of this disease in the population is shown in the fact that middle aged men are twice as likely to suffer from diabetes as compared to middle aged women. Essentially, the rates of diabetes have dramatically increased in the United States, particularly type 2 diabetes, which basically increase with age. A huge portion of the increase in the rate of diabetes in the middle age population has occurred among males. Some of the major risk factors that have contributed to this increase include an inactive lifestyle, accumulation of body weight or obesity, hereditary factors, and a diet that is high in sugar and low in fiber and whole grains. These risk factors have been prevalent among American Indians, African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Hispanics, Pacific Islanders, and Native Alaskans.
Diabetes is basically a disease that takes place when an individual's body cannot regulate the levels of blood glucose properly. Type 2 Diabetes is the most common type of this condition among the middle age population, especially males. According to Eckardstein, Schulte & Assmann (2000), type 2 diabetes is a multi-factorial disease incorporating genetic pre-disposition and several environmental factors (p.3101). These authors state that the established risk factors for diabetes in middle age male population include overweight, unfavorable distribution of fat in the body, impaired glucose tolerance, and hyperinsulinemia. According to the findings of various studies in middle aged men with high rates of diabetes mellitus, there are other risk factors such as high blood pressure and high density lipoprotein cholesterol levels (Eckardstein, Schulte & Assmann, 2000, p.3101). Middle aged men are likely to suffer from diabetes mellitus because of being obese or overweight, genetic predisposition, dyslipidemia, glucose, hyperuricemia, and hypertension.
The need for development of health prevention and promotion strategies against diabetes mellitus is attributed to the severity of this condition. Middle age males who develop diabetes mellitus or high blood pressure are increasingly likely to suffer from brain damage that can progress to dementia during older age. Recent studies have indicated that diabetes may actually shrink the brain for a protracted period of time and lessen the size of critical areas in the brain such as hippocampus, which plays a major role in a person's short- and long-term memory (Thompson, 2014). Secondly, together with high blood pressure, diabetes mellitus seemingly increases an individual's risk of micro-strokes and other damages to the blood vessel, resulting in cognitive impairment after a long period of time. As a result, middle aged men with diabetes mellitus start having thinking and memory problems as the disease progresses.
Health Screening Tool:
One of the most important elements in fighting the spread and impact of diabetes mellitus among middle age male population is through encouraging diabetes screening and eventual treatment for those diagnosed with the disease. The screening will be carried out through the use of a health screening tool i.e. A questionnaire that is specific to diabetes screening. Diabetes screening is appropriate because it helps in early detection and prompt treatment, which helps in lessening the burden of the disease and its complications (American Diabetes Association, 2002, p.S21). The screening should be conducted in physician's offices and other health care settings including community health services. The questionnaire to be used in diabetes screening is as follows & #8230;
Type 2 Diabetes Risk Test
Please tick the right alternative and tally your points.