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Thank you for subscribing to Men's Health, an Avera eNewsletter that provides you with information to help you live a healthy lifestyle. To learn more about what Avera can do to partner with you to improve your health, visit www.Avera.org.

To your health,

The Avera Staff


Studies have shown that the shape of your body can be correlated to higher risks for health problems such as heart disease, stroke, hypertension and diabetes. By measuring the ratio of your waist size to your hip size, you can determine your body type and levels of risk. In general, the higher your waist-to-hip ratio is, the higher your health risks may be, regardless of how tall or big-boned you are.

People are classified into three shapes. Pear-shaped people tend to acquire fat on their hips where it is least harmful to one's health. Apple-shaped people gather fat at their waists and in their torsos. Squash-shaped people are in between pears and apples.

In general, the greater your waist-to-hip ratio, the greater your health risks. For example, one study indicates that apple-shaped men have a stroke risk that is three times higher than men who are pear-shaped. Having an increased risk for a particular condition does not mean that you will necessarily develop it. However, knowing you may be at an increased risk may encourage you to work with your doctor to make changes that could help lower your risk.

Find out if you are at risk. Click here to determine your waist-to-hip ratio.

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Your doctor has recommended you have a PSA test, which can indicate whether a man has prostate cancer. What can you expect when you go in for testing?

The prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test is a simple blood test that is usually recommended for men ages 40 to 75. A prostate examination is typically done at the same time as the PSA test. The prostate-specific antigen is a protein in prostate cells, and it can be found in low levels in the blood of all men. A high level of the antigen may suggest a higher risk for prostate cancer, but it can also point to other conditions besides cancer, such as a prostate infection or urinary tract infection. To assess your risk for prostate cancer, click here.

After the test, you will be contacted with your results. If a high level of PSA is found during your test, your doctor will follow up to see if further treatment is needed. To learn more about the PSA test, click here.

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In Great Health online archive.