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Body Watch

A Manly Quiz

Calling all men.

June 11, 1997

This week is National Men's Health Week, which means it is totally permissible to nag you about your health, which brings us to the question: How smart are you when it comes to your health?

If you say all you know about is Michael Jordan's free-throw percentage, shame, shame, shame.

The following quiz, reprinted with permission from Men's Health magazine, tests your knowledge:

1. What health threat is the biggest killer of men in the United States?

a. lung cancer

b. cardiovascular disease

c. auto accidents

Answer: (b); in one year, male deaths from heart disease numbered 447,233; from lung cancer, 95,808; from auto accidents, 28,635.

2. How often should you have your blood pressure measured?

a. every six months

b. every year

c. every three years

Answer: (b); you should have your blood pressure checked by your doctor at least once a year--more often if you have high blood pressure or risk factors (such as being overweight) for developing it.

3. What's the recommended minimum number of servings of fruits and vegetables you should eat each day?

a. 3

b. 4

c. 5

Answer: (c); U.S. Department of Agriculture dietary guidelines recommend you eat at least three servings of vegetables and two servings of fruit every day for optimum nutrition.

4. As a man, what nutrient should make up the bulk of your diet?

a. fat

b. protein

c. carbohydrate

Answer: (c); the average man should get a minimum of 60% of his daily calories from carbohydrates, no fewer than 10% from protein and no more than 30% from fat.

5. As a general rule, at what age should you have your first PSA test for prostate cancer?

a. 30

b. 40

c. 50

Answer: (c); however, your doctor may recommend you begin testing at age 40 if you are African American, or if you have a family history of prostate cancer. Both factors increase your risk for developing it.

6. The doctor takes your blood pressure and tells you it's higher than 170 over 90. This reading is considered:

a. low

b. in the normal range

c. high

Answer: (c); blood pressure is expressed as two numbers: systolic pressure (during a heartbeat) over diastolic pressure (between heartbeats). Repeated readings of 140/90 or greater denote high blood pressure.

7. You've taken a cholesterol test. The results indicate your LDL reading is low, but your HDL is very high. You should be:

a. placed on cholesterol-lowering drugs

b. slightly concerned

c. very pleased

Answer: (c); HDL cholesterol is the "good" kind; it helps clear your arteries of the fatty deposits, or plaque, that can cause heart attacks and strokes. LDL is the "bad" kind--high blood levels tend to stimulate plaque buildup.

8. Impotence affects approximately how many men in the United States?

a. 180,000

b. 1.8 million

c. 18 million

Answer: (c); Impotence, the consistent inability to have or maintain a satisfactory erection, afflicts an estimated 18 million American men--but as many as 30 million suffer its occasional effects. Research suggests as many as 50% of all men between 40 and 70 experience problems maintaining their erections.

9. What's the best type of exercise for improving your cholesterol profile?

a. walking

b. sit-ups

c. push-ups

Answer: (a); regular aerobic exercise--brisk walking included--can lower LDL cholesterol, while raising blood levels of HDL too.

10. What's the best exercise to preserve bone mass?

a. walking

b. weight lifting

c. running

Answer: (b); resistance training with weights has been shown to preserve bone as well as build muscle in men.

11. As a man, which disease don't you have to worry about getting?

a. breast cancer

b. osteoporosis

c. cystitis

Answer: Trick question. Though not as common among men as women, all of these conditions can threaten a man's health.

12. Of all AIDS cases in the United States, approximately what percentage is male?

a. 50

b. 79

c. 85

Answer: (c); the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that through June 1996, 460,505 men in the United States have been found to have AIDS.

12. If you exercise regularly, how much water should you be drinking every day?

a. 4 to 6 glasses

b. 6 to 8 glasses

c. 10 to 11 glasses

Answer: (c); if you exercise regularly you'll need at least two or three more glasses than the recommended eight a day if you plan on improving your performance in the gym. Sports enthusiasts say that even mild dehydration can leave you feeling weak and may cut into your gains.

14. The most common site of cancer diagnosis is:

a. the prostate gland

b. the lungs

c. the skin

Answer: (c); the American Cancer Society projects that over 900,000 cases of highly curable basal cell of squamous cell cancers, plus an additional 40,000 of the more serious melanoma, will be diagnosed in the United States this year. Skin cancers, however, are some of the most curable cancers if they're caught early.

Some warning signs: any change in the size, color or border of a mole or another pigmented area; a change in the appearance of a bump or nodule; also scaliness, oozing or bleeding.

15. How many men in the United States have diabetes--and don't know it?

a. 36,000

b. 360,000

c. 3.6 million

Answer: (c); that's half of all men with the disease, according to estimates from the American Diabetes Assn. Classic symptoms include extreme thirst, occasional blurry vision, frequent urination, unusual tiredness or drowsiness and unexplained weight loss. If you have any of these symptoms, see your doctor.

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