By: Steve Bond, BScPhm, RPh, CDE

I recently talked about the importance for men to know their numbers.  The last section looked at blood pressure, waist circumference and exercise.  I want to continue to speak about important numbers that all men should know.

14: The maximum number of ounces of alcohol per week that the average man should consume.

Add to this the number 8, which is the most we should consume in a single sitting.  In the 10,000 years since humans have been drinking fermented beverages, there has been debate on whether it’s a tonic or a poison. The difference lies in the dose. Some evidence suggests that moderate consumption may improve circulation and reduce the incidence of kidney stones. The benefits of social interaction that goes with casual drinking also contributes to our mental status.  This needs to be balanced of course with increased risk of certain types of cancers, liver and heart damage which accompany excess consumption.

10: The number of years, on average, that smokers die earlier than non-smokers.

Smoking has been linked to:

  • one-third of all cancer deaths
  • four out of five lung cancer deaths
  • four out of five deaths from bronchitis and emphysema
  • one in four deaths from heart disease

Quitting smoking can at once lead to health benefits. One year after quitting, your risk of heart disease is reduced to half of that of a current smoker. In five years, the risk of stroke is reduced to the same as a non-smoker. After 15 years, your risk of heart disease is reduced to the same as a non-smoker.

70: The percentage of Men’s health problems caused by lifestyle.

Only 30% is genetic.  This means that we can affect our health by making changes to how we live.  As I have already said, knowing your numbers is the first step to improving health.  By making changes to improve these numbers, we can reduce health problems, Take care of yourselves and each other.