Top 10 health risks for males in the UK

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Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

Dr Seth Rankin, founder of London Doctors Clinic, gave us the lowdown on the top 10 health risks to men.

For Men’s Health Awareness Month, we wanted to find out all there was to know about the most common risks to men’s health. Here, Dr Seth Rankin of London Doctors Clinic cites the top 10 health risks for UK men today.

Depression and suicide

Depression and suicide in UK males is typically affecting those between the ages of 20-34 years old. There are many reasons for this but typically, men are less likely to seek support for mental health issues which can cause symptoms to escalate. 

Men's health


Another risk to men’s health is alcohol when taken in large quantities. Depression, stress and anxiety can often lead to excess alcohol consumption because people believe it can make them feel better. It doesn’t. Aside from suffering a fuzzy head the morning after, drinking too much alcohol can lead to liver damage, obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease


Diagnosis of type 2 diabetes in men is rapidly on the rise. Obesity, family history, high blood pressure and lack of exercise can increase your chances of getting it. If you’re increasingly thirsty, urinating more than usual, losing weight and feeling fatigued, speak to your GP. Diabetes is potentially reversible providing you can implement positive lifestyle changes so lay off the steak, red wine and do some exercise!  

Diabetes is another risk.


While smoking is not encouraged if you’re a diabetes sufferer, it is very unhealthy for men in general. A persistent cough (one that lasts longer than three weeks) or coughing up blood are both potential signs of a serious health issue. Men are more likely to contract lung, mouth or even throat cancer from smoking so stub it out! 

Heart disease

This is by far the leading cause of death in men over 50, typically caused by smoking, obesity, high blood pressure and raised cholesterol. Warning signs include discomfort or heaviness in the chest, palpitations or breathlessness, which – if left untreated – can lead to strokes or heart attacks.  

Heart disease is a risk to men's health.

Erectile dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction is an area I regularly consult on and surprisingly it’s a health complaint which affects around 50 per cent of men at some point in their lives. If you can’t get an erection or struggle to maintain one, don’t be embarrassed at speaking to your doctor. It’s very common and there are several options available to you including our lovely friend Viagra.

Skin cancer

Cancer is one of the biggest killers of men in the UK and there are several types to be aware of. We sometimes see that men are less health-aware than women, especially when it comes to monitoring moles. If you notice a mole changing size, shape, colour or looking inflamed or weeping, ask your GP to take a look. Early detection can be life-saving so keep an eye on your moles and freckles. 

man looking out window

Testicular cancer 

Testicular is the most common cancer in men aged 20 to 35, with around 2,000 new diagnoses each year in the UK. Symptoms to watch out for are a painless lump in one testicle which is sometimes accompanied by a dull ache or heavy feeling in the scrotum. Concerning symptoms presented to a GP are cause for rapid referral (within two weeks) for further investigation.  

Prostate cancer

Prostate Cancer is on the rise and currently affects one in seven men in the UK. The prostate gland is between the penis and bladder and issues with urinating is usually the first sign of an issue. You may experience difficulty going for a pee, increased frequency or difficulty emptying the bladder. If you’re worried about prostate cancer, your doctor can perform a blood test and a prostate exam for peace of mind.  

Bowel cancer

Bowel cancer (also known as colon or rectal cancer) is most common in men over 60. Bowel cancer typically affects men who are over-weight, drink, smoke and have a penchant for red meats. If you notice blood in your stools, a change in bowel habits or lower abdominal pain, seek medical advice.  

For more information on Dr Rankin and his clinic, click here.