Men’s health: What should I worry about when I’m in my…30s?

Men's Health

by Baylor Scott & White Health

May 30, 2022

Decades of studies by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have found that American men, as they age, are adding inches to their waistlines and pounds to their bodies—both of which can pose threats to your health.

Here’s why your health in your 30s matters and what you can do today to help you age well.

Why your 30s matter

One study reported that between 1960 and 2002, the average American man increased in height by one inch but increased in weight by 20 pounds. Another study, which added data from 2015-2016, found the average man’s weight had increased by almost 12 more pounds. In addition, the average man’s waist measurement had increased by more than a full inch, plus a rise in BMI—Body Mass Index—which compares weight with height and is a reliable indicator of total body fat.

With more body fat come a lot more issues for Average Joe to worry about, even when he’s still in his 30s.

“Basically, at that age, that’s when you want to start thinking about adding a cholesterol screen to your annual checkup,” said Sean DeLue, MD, a family medicine physician on the medical staff at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Temple.

The National Institutes of Health recommends that men get a variety of screenings through their 30s, including for diabetes, cholesterol levels and blood pressure. And the United States Preventative Services Task Force further recommends men have their blood pressure evaluated if it’s higher than 135 over 80.

So, let’s talk about what that means for your health.

Your family history and health risks

“Family history plays a role, too, in how early you should start screening,” Dr. DeLue said. “If somebody has a strong family history of diabetes, then they may want to start getting their blood sugar checked early on, especially if they’re obese.”

Watch out for the following common signs of diabetes:

  • Fatigue
  • Increased thirst
  • Frequent urination

Stop smoking, drink responsibly

Men should also lose any vices they picked up in young adulthood.

“If they smoke, they need to stop,” Dr. Delue said. “If they drink, they should drink no more than two ounces of an alcoholic beverage in a 24-hour period.”

Get your vaccinations

Although more complicated procedures like colonoscopies aren’t necessary for the average man until around age 50, you should still be scheduling yearly check-ups and getting your immunizations.

“Get your annual flu shot, especially if you’re at high risk or have any type of heart or lung disease,”  Dr. DeLue said. “And then you should get a tetanus vaccine or a DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis) shot. One DTaP is recommended and then one tetanus booster every 10 years.”

Talk to your doctor about other vaccinations that may be a good idea for you, like a COVID-19 vaccine or booster.

Eat your veggies

The 30 to 40 age range is usually a pretty healthy age group, Dr. DeLue said. And 30-somethings aren’t typically high utilizers of medicine or medical services.

But in order to maintain general good health during your 30s, men should:

Keep up with cancer screenings

Dr. DeLue also suggests periodic self-exams to be on the lookout for certain types of cancers.

“We have seen a few testicular cancer cases in this age range,” he said. “It’s rare, but men should be checking.”

For more information on maintaining a healthy lifestyle in your 30s, talk to your primary care physician.

More topics to explore

We make it easy.

Healthcare doesn't have to be difficult. We're constantly finding ways to make it easy so that you can get Better and stay that way.

Better tools make it easier

We all have different healthcare needs. Handle them your way with the MyBSWHealth app. Download the app today and take a hands-on approach to your healthcare.

Text Better to 88408