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  • AZ Heart Foundation

Helping Dads Stay Healthy

Each June, we honor dads by lavishing them with love, gifts and special outings for Father's Day. While these gestures of affection are impactful, you can further support the men in your life by encouraging regular check-ups and heart-healthy habits, helping ensure dads stay healthy for years to come.

Common Health Issues Men Face

Many men face similar health and heart health issues, highlighting the importance of regular care and prevention.

Child sitting on his Father's shoulders, while both of them flex their arm muscles

Heart attacks

Per Harvard Medical School, heart attacks occur twice as often in men as they do women. This remains true even after accounting for traditional risk factors, such as diabetes, body mass index, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Men are also more likely to experience heart attacks at younger ages than women, spotlighting the importance of proactive health and risk factor management early on.

Heart disease

Research shows that men are also more prone to developing heart disease than women. In 2019, 7% of men reported having heart disease.

Common types of heart disease in men include heart failure, coronary artery disease and valve disorders, among others, and many of these conditions share similar symptoms in common. Men affected by one or more of these conditions may experience chest pain, breathing issues, fatigue or heart palpitations that can hinder the ability to work, recreate or otherwise enjoy life. Heart disease risks in men can also increase with age, lifestyle choices and the presence of existing medical conditions. For example, high blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease in men, and between 2013 and 2016, 47% of men had high blood pressure.


Diabetes is also common among men and can lead to a heightened risk of other health conditions, including heart disease. There are two main types of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2. Most people with Type 1 diabetes develop the condition during adolescence. Type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, may develop later in life due to certain lifestyle factors, such as obesity and physical inactivity.

That said, men tend to develop Type 2 diabetes at lower weights than women, and this may be due to the fact that men often carry weight around their midsections, which increase their chances of developing the condition. Diabetes can also lead to a host of health complications in men, including erectile dysfunction and overactive bladder.

Father standing in the woods with 3 of his children riding on his back

Preventative Measures

Taking a proactive approach to health and wellness can work wonders in terms of preventing heart attacks, heart disease and diabetes in men. Making lifestyle changes is a key part of the process. Modifying a diet to reduce or eliminate cholesterol, saturated fats and sodium and incorporate more fruits, vegetables and whole grains is a great place to start.

It’s also important that men get regular physical activity, which can lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol levels and help them maintain a healthy weight – all of which also lower heart disease and other health risks. Quitting or avoiding smoking and reducing alcohol intake can also boost heart and overall health. So, too, can tracking blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels and getting regular checkups to help identify any risks or problems early on.

Supporting men and men’s heart health involves more than just showing appreciation on Father’s Day – it also involves acknowledging common health issues men face and urging those you love to prevent or address them. By encouraging open conversations, offering support and advocating for regular check-ups, you can make a meaningful difference both in your own life and in those of the men you care about.


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