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Male Seasons

Posted April. 10, 2006 07:02,   


Just like women, men also go through their “four seasons.” After undergoing a spring-like childhood, they grow up to be young men, get married and prepare for the summer where they see their offspring.

Beginning in the mid 30s, the level of male hormones starts to drop by one percent. When fall comes, men are stable in their workplace. During this period, due to bad living habit of their 20s and 30s chronic disorders such as high blood pressure and diabetes start to surface.

Men who safely pass this period meet another obstacle in their 60s called prostate disorders. Let’s find out about the disorders that men should be cautious about throughout their four seasons.


The most problematic disorder in this age group is child obesity. The results of an obesity survey conducted in 2003 on 3,615 middle school students from 14 schools indicate that the obesity rate of boys is twice as high as that of girls at 20.7 percent. Parents should be careful to look after their children when they are young because child obesity is very likely to lead to adult obesity, as well as high blood pressure, and might also cause psychological problems.

Another reason is because obesity is also more affected by dietary habit and lifestyle than genetic factors. It is also reported that male hormones are related to obesity to a certain level.

Hallym University Sacred Heart Hospital Family Medicine Professor Park Kyung-hee advised, “It is good to reduce fast food consumption, one of the main culprits of obesity, as well as play sports with family members such as badminton or inline skating.” Another suggestion was to eliminate junk foods, such as instant food, and avoid buying high-fat high-calorie products.

20s and 30s-

This age group is when the body is at its healthiest point. However, it is often the case that one’s health is damaged not due to outside factors, but due to one’s indifference and negligence. The number one cause of death for this age group is car accidents, and driving under the influence has something to do with it. Reckless drinking and eating habits lead to a high number of digestive problems such as ulcers and gastritis. It is better to go to a gastroenterologist when one’s stomach is in pain due to excessive drinking and irregular meals, rather than just regularly taking anti-acids as temporary measures.

The fiercely competitive work environment is also cause stress which might lead to irritable colon syndrome or other digestive disorders, and starting in the mid 30s men will feel bloated and susceptible to indigestion.

In this period, it is important to choose a physical activity for one’s health, and engage in it regularly. One should keep an appropriate weight and basic strength through physical activities.

Severance Hospital Family Medicine Professor Kang Hee-chul advised, “During the 20s and 30s it is good to engage in muscle building activities to increase muscle mass and aerobic activities that one can enjoy for the rest of one’s life.” Running, power walking, and swimming are some of these aerobic activities.

40s and 50s-

As proven by Korea’s notorious record of possessing the world’s highest death rate for men in their 40s, the red-light is turned on middle-aged Korean men’s health. Stress coming from both the workplace and home results in excessive drinking and chronic fatigue.

It is crucial to consume fresh vegetables and fruits and avoid excessive drinking and greasy food for the sake of the liver. In particular, those with high cholesterol levels might face sudden death, because of heart disorders caused by internal wounds of the arteries.

If one has a high blood pressure and feels tired and out of breath even after short period of workouts, they should seek a hospital and check their heart and artery condition. Blood pressure should be measured regularly to check for hypertension. Quitting smoking and regular checkups are also a must.

Seoul Samsung Medical Center Pulmonary M.D. Kwon Oh-jung explained, “Smoking a pack of cigarettes from the 20s for 20 years will increase the chances of suffering from lung cancer in the 50s. If one quits at their 40s, in the 60s they will have the same odds as those who did not smoke.”

Many middle-aged men are proud of their waist sizes citing them as “age-flab,” but one should beware of abdominal obesity that causes all types of adult disorders such as diabetes and high blood pressure.


Prolonged diseases such as cerebral blood vessel disorder, respiratory problems, stomach cancer hikes the number of deaths for those in this age group.

In reality, it is also a period when changing living habits will do little to stop disorders that were triggered off as part of the aging process.

Many men of this age group suffer from prostate disorders. It is so common that about 60 percent of those in their 60s and 70 percent of those in their 70s suffer from it. One should make an appointment with a urologist if they have trouble urinating or urinate more than three times after they go to sleep.

Fortunately, there are various effective drugs for prostate disorders. It is one of the disorders affecting elderly men the symptoms of which can be alleviated to increase the quality of life.

It is recommended to read health related books or information, and also prepare and know methods to deal with emergencies such as strokes or heart attacks. Furthermore, it is advised to keep the number of a hospital and family members to communicate in emergency situations somewhere easy to see.

Jin-Han Lee likeday@donga.com