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Man over 60 looking at mirror before virtual healthcare appointment

Virtual healthcare for men over 60

Written on January 30, 2023 by Theresa Vuskovich, DMD. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.


Table of contents


86% of older adults in the United States have at least one health condition [1]. However, men still seek medical treatment at lower rates than women [2]. If you are a man over 60 years old, your healthcare needs are evolving, and staying proactive is essential for your well-being.

Taking a proactive approach to your health requires understanding your unique health needs, including when to see your healthcare provider, how to incorporate sustainable, healthy lifestyle habits, and which biomarkers will guide your health journey. Biomarkers measure health, disease, or responses to drugs [3]. Blood pressure is a biomarker of heart health, while genetic biomarkers can indicate your risk of cancer [4,5].

By following the recommended screening and lab test schedules, your healthcare provider can help you monitor biomarkers over time to discover your health status and disease risk. Virtual healthcare makes it easier to stay in touch with your healthcare provider. This article discusses the benefits of virtual healthcare for men over 60 and how to maintain good health.

Cardiovascular health

Your cardiovascular health includes the health of your heart and the vessels throughout your body. Heart disease remains the leading cause of death for men and women [4]. Heart disease refers to a variety of conditions affecting the heart and vessels, including acute coronary syndrome (heart attack), atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeats), and atherosclerosis (plaque buildup in the arteries) [6].

Men over 60 are at an increased risk of cardiovascular disease [4]. One of the most important biomarkers of cardiovascular health is blood pressure [4,9]. A healthy blood pressure for a man over 60 must not exceed 130/80 mm/Hg [4].

Another important biomarker is high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), a protein produced by the liver in response to inflammation [4,10]. Hs-CRP is a predictive and prognostic biomarker for heart disease, which indicates your risk for disease and your likelihood of recovery [4,10]. You can learn more about your hs-CRP levels with Everlywell's at-home heart health test.

Your triglycerides can also indicate the health of your cardiovascular system [4]. In the blood, triglycerides are the primary fat type. Excessive levels of triglycerides can damage organs, increasing your risk of heart disease and strokes [4].

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is the best way to prevent heart disease. You can improve your heart health by following these tips [4,6-8]:

  • Getting 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise each week
  • Eating a diet rich in vegetables, fruit, lean meat, and low-fat dairy
  • Reading food labels and keeping a food diary
  • Maintaining a diet of approximately 2,000 to 2,600 calories based on your activity level
  • Avoiding cigarette smoking
  • Sleeping more than 6 hours a night
  • Keeping your blood sugar level healthy is essential if you have diabetes

Diabetes

Diabetes is increasing among older adults, with 25% of older adults having diabetes and half having prediabetes [11]. If you are a man over 60 with diabetes, you are at an increased risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, depression, and urinary incontinence [11]. One of the most important biomarkers to track your diabetes is your hemoglobin A1C or HbA1c levels, which tells you how well you are managing your blood sugar levels [12]. You can also prevent and manage diabetes by maintaining the healthy habits listed above.

Colon health

Men over 60 have an increased risk of developing colon cancer, which is the third most common cancer diagnosis for men and women [13]. While colon cancer rates for older adults have been decreasing, it is important to maintain regular screening by having a colonoscopy every ten years starting at 45 years old [14]. However, the U.S. Preventative Task Force (USPTF) may start recommending colonoscopies at 40 years old as a result of the rising rates of colon cancer.

The USPTF also recommends having a fecal immunochemical test (FIT) every year [14]. FIT checks your stool for hidden blood to catch colon cancer early because colorectal polyps, which may be precancerous, leak blood [14]. Everlywell offers an at-home FIT to determine your colon cancer risk.

Prostate health

The most common type of cancer affecting men is prostate cancer, which is often detected when it has already spread due to a lack of symptoms [16,17]. Men have a 2.5% lifetime risk of dying from prostate cancer, but some men have genes that make them more likely to develop prostate cancer [17].

You are at an increased risk of prostate cancer if you carry mutations in your BRCA 1 or BRCA 2 genes [17]. Another important biomarker for prostate health is the amount of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) found in your blood [16]. PSA levels are typically higher in men with prostate cancer [16].

Hormones

Hormones are chemical messengers that send instructions to various parts of the body. Understanding which hormones affect your body's ability to function is important for men over 60 [18]. The following are some of the key hormones men over 60 need to know:

  1. Testosterone: controls bone density, sexual drive, body fat distribution, and muscle mass. Everlywell offers an at-home total testosterone test.
  2. Cortisol: acts as your body's "stress hormone." When you experience illness or exercise, your cortisol levels peak in the morning. Cortisol regulates blood sugar levels and energy metabolism.
  3. Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA): helps create other hormones, such as testosterone. The adrenal gland produces DHEA, which peaks in early adulthood and decreases with age.
  4. Estradiol: increases as you age and maintains bone density, brain function, and male fertility by balancing testicular fluid.

Virtual care for men with Everlywell

Everlywell offers at-home wellness tests and virtual care visits for men to help you be proactive about your health and gain insights. Everlywell offers a men's health test that measures the levels of 4 hormones that affect mood, weight, energy, and sex drive. Your blood is analyzed in a CLIA-certified lab, and independent board-certified physicians review your results within your state. You can learn more about your health by taking the at-home Men's Health Test offered by Everlywell.

Healthcare advice for men over 40

Why men over 40 should start seeing a urologist regularly

How to think about testosterone levels in men over 40


References

  1. Mcgrath R, Al Snih S, Markides K, Hall O, Peterson M. The burden of health conditions for middle-aged and older adults in the United States: disability-adjusted life years. BMC Geriatrics. 2019;19(1). doi:10.1186/s12877-019-1110-6. URL.
  2. Lam K, Lu AD, Shi Y, Covinsky KE. Assessing Telemedicine Unreadiness Among Older Adults in the United States During the COVID-19 Pandemic. JAMA Intern Med. 2020;180(10):1389-1391. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2020.2671. URL.
  3. Office of the Commissioner. Focus area: Biomarkers. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. URL. Accessed January 27, 2023.
  4. Arnett DK, Blumenthal RS, Albert MA, et al. 2019 ACC/AHA guideline on the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease: A report of the American college of cardiology/American heart association task force on clinical practice guidelines. Circulation. 2019;140(11). doi:10.1161/cir.0000000000000678. URL
  5. Giri VN, Morgan TM, Morris DS, Berchuck JE, Hyatt C, Taplin ME. Genetic testing in prostate cancer management: Considerations informing primary care. CA Cancer J Clin. 2022;72(4):360-371. doi:10.3322/caac.21720. URL.
  6. Other conditions related to heart disease. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Published January 20, 2022. Accessed January 27, 2023. URL.
  7. 5 tips for choosing healthier foods as you age. National Institute on Aging. Accessed January 27, 2023. URL.
  8. Prevent heart disease. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Published April 21, 2020. Accessed January 26, 2023. URL
  9. About Biomarkers and qualifications. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Accessed January 27, 2023. URL
  10. Carrero JJ, Andersson Franko M, Obergfell A, Gabrielsen A, Jernberg T. hsCRP Level and the Risk of Death or Recurrent Cardiovascular Events in Patients With Myocardial Infarction: a Healthcare‚ÄźBased Study. Journal of the American Heart Association. 2019;8(11). doi:10.1161/jaha.119.012638. URL.
  11. ElSayed NA, Aleppo G, Aroda VR, et al. 13. Older adults: Standards of care in diabetes-2023. Diabetes Care. 2023;46(Suppl 1):S216-S229. doi:10.2337/dc23-S013. URL.
  12. All about your A1C. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. URL. Published September 23, 2022. Accessed January 27, 2023.
  13. Lotfollahzadeh S, Recio-Boiles A, Cagir B. Colon Cancer. URL. StatPearls Publishing; 2022.
  14. Colorectal cancer: Screening. Uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org. Published May 18, 2021. URL. Accessed January 27, 2023.
  15. Shaukat A, Kahi CJ, Burke CA, Rabeneck L, Sauer BG, Rex DK. ACG clinical guidelines: Colorectal cancer screening 2021. Am J Gastroenterol. 2021;116(3):458-479. doi:10.14309/ajg.0000000000001122. URL.
  16. Prostate cancer: Screening. Uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org. Published URL. May 8, 2018. Accessed January 27, 2023.
  17. Wang G, Zhao D, Spring DJ, Depinho RA. Genetics and biology of prostate cancer. Genes & Development. 2018;32(17-18):1105-1140. doi:10.1101/gad.315739.118. URL.
  18. Decaroli MC, Rochira V. Aging and sex hormones in males. Virulence. 2017;8(5):545-570. doi:10.1080/21505594.2016.1259053. URL.
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