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Men in China should watch out for these diseases

When it comes to a man and his sense of manhood, there isn’t much that is more important to him than his sexual health and overall vitality. After all, as animals every man has an evolutionary predisposition to want to reproduce, and if a man cannot fulfill this duty he may feel that he is something less than a man. While we know that this is not the case, it’s nevertheless important to maintain sexual health, as it is an excellent indicator for general wellness and quality of life as a man ages. Just as in the rest of the world, there are certain ailments that men in China need to be concerned about, as they may be at risk. Here, we talk about some of these illnesses, as well as the best ways to prevent and treat them while living in China.

Diseases prevalent among men in China

In this case we’re referring to diseases that can ultimately lead to a man’s death. You may know this already, but the two most common causes of death in men worldwide are cardiovascular disease and cancer, and China is no different. What’s more, men in China are more likely to die due to these kinds of diseases than women.

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Heart disease: Despite being the number one killer of people worldwide, heart disease is the 2nd largest killer of men in China, accounting for 22% of total deaths. Men disproportionately engage in risky behavior for heart disease vis-à-vis women when it comes to smoking and alcohol consumption, so it is up to individuals to control these types of habits if they want to reduce their risk.

Cancer: As the #1 killer of people in China, cancer accounts for more than 7,500 deaths per day. In 2015, it is estimated that 4.3 million people developed cancer, with 2.8 million people dying of the disease. While men’s health news tends to focus on prostate and testicular cancer, neither of these is counted in the top 5 cancers among men in China, which include colorectal, liver, esophagus, stomach and lung cancers. These 5 types of cancer account for over two thirds of male cancer cases. Men in China are more likely to not only develop cancer, but to die because of it.

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs): Also known as sexually transmitted infections, the prevalence of STDs has shown signs of dramatic increases in the past decade. For example, while cases of HIV/AIDS recorded in 2010 numbered 500,000, this number inflated to 800,000 in 2011. Other sexually transmitted diseases to be worried about in China include Chlamydia, genital herpes, genital warts, gonorrhea and syphilis. Admittedly, up to date information on the prevalence of specific STDs in China is somewhat hard to come by, so it’s hard to say for sure just how big of a danger unprotected sex is in China in 2017, but certainly it is better to be safe than sorry when potentially life threatening diseases are involved.


Beyond the illnesses mentioned above there are some risk factors that are prevalent in China that can lead to them. One of the chief among these is tobacco use. 52.9% of Chinese male adults smoke tobacco, with 45.4% of the male population smoking daily. Even among the youth in China (aged 13-15), more than one in ten young men smoke tobacco regularly. This is quite a striking difference from female smoking numbers, which show only 2.4% of adults and 1.8% of young ladies smoking frequently. Additionally, the World Health Organization has reported that the global average of deaths attributable to smoking in 1990 was 6%, while in China it was 9.2%. The latter figure is expected to rise to 16.6% by 2020.

As far as what this means for men’s health, respiratory diseases such as emphysema, chronic bronchitis, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can be a direct result of smoking. Not to mention lung cancer, which has been the most common form of cancer in China in recent years not only because of the prevalence of smoking, but also because of the air pollution issues facing the country. It is posited that by the year 2020 there will be 800,000 new lung cancer cases each year in China. Smoking also is a major risk factor for heart disease, stroke, and a host of other health problems, as it is believed to lower general overall health and even cause reduced fertility.

Other major risk factors for health include weight/obesity, alcohol intake, and sedentary living.

Getting protection

Of course, the very best way to protect yourself from heart disease, cancer and respiratory disease is prevention. Diet and exercise to keep weight low and your heart strong are highly advisable. Also, try your best to avoid air pollution and limit your intake of alcohol, tobacco and other controlled substances. As far as sexually transmitted diseases are concerned, practicing safe sex by using condoms greatly reduces risk, but regular screenings are also a great idea.

As you can tell from the information above, men in China do have a number of things to worry about when it comes to their health. For this reason, it may be beneficial for men to have a comprehensive health insurance plan in place to provide efficient medical treatment and protection from related costs. This is especially true for expatriate men living in China, as they are far more likely to attend higher cost private hospitals rather than public hospitals where communication can be an issue.

Pacific Prime China offers international health insurance plans that will be attractive to expats in China due to the fact that they provide medical insurance coverage both inside the PRC and back in their home country, as well as virtually any country around the world. To find out if this type of insurance plan is right for you, contact the helpful insurance advisers at Pacific Prime today. They can provide you with plan comparisons from major insurance companies and give you a free quote.

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Disclaimer: Pacific Prime China solely represents, operates and manages locally regulated insurance products and services in the territory of PR China. Any references to Pacific Prime Global Company or Group, the international services, insurance products or otherwise stated written or verbally, is for introduction purposes about our overseas network only as each entity is fully independent.