More top health risks for men over 40
Risk: Untreated depression
Although women are three times more likely to attempt suicide than men, men are more successful at it, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. In 2009, 79 percent of all suicides were men. Suicide rates for men spike after age 65; seven times more men over 65 commit suicide than their female peers.
More than 60 percent of all those who die by suicide have major depression. If you include alcoholics, that number rises to 75 percent. In older adults, social isolation is another key contributing factor -- which is why older suicides are often widowers.
Oops: Men often equate depression with "sadness" or other emotions -- and fail to realize that common warning signs of depression include fatigue or excessive sleep, agitation and restlessness, trouble concentrating, irritability, and changes in appetite or sleep.
Silver lining: Depression is treatable at any age, and most cases are responsive to treatment, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.
Sure, you've heard about the horrific effects of smoking before. But the older you get, the worse they become. Older smokers have sustained greater lung damage over time because they tend to have been smoking longer; they also tend to be heavier smokers.
Men over 65 who smoke are twice as likely to die of stroke. Smoking causes more than 90 percent of all cases of COPD -- the fourth leading cause of death among men -- and 80 to 90 percent of all lung cancer. The risks of all kinds of lung disease rise with age. Smokers develop Alzheimer's disease, the sixth leading cause of death, far more than nonsmokers.
Oops: Older smokers are less likely than younger smokers to believe there's a real health risk attached to cigarettes, says the American Lung Association. That means they're less likely to try to quit.