In this slight but well-written and researched book, author Shaun Dowling—a former UK marathon runner in his late 80s who still rows on the Thames—provides a brief assessment of the major diseases and health issues that may affect older men.
Covering health conditions from heart disease and osteoarthritis to cancer and Alzheimer’s, Dowling’s overview touches on early diagnosis and possible treatments. He also focuses on lifestyle issues, such as diet and exercise, that can minimize the risks associated with these disorders. As a bonus, the book utilizes a larger print font, of benefit to aging eyes.
The author admits the initial chapter on genetics and metabolism may be “difficult to grasp at first reading….” Although clearly communicated with useful illustrations, this chapter may initially put off the elderly readership the author strives to instruct due to the complicated scientific concepts discussed.
Dowling follows this with the basic science behind diseases that can impact older males, focusing particularly on prostate cancer, which can affect one in six males over their lifetimes.
His discussion of diet, nutrition and exercise offers simple, but helpful tips. For example, he notes that walkers can use hiking sticks to speed up walking and those watching caloric intake should watch out for “yo-yo” (weight cycling) dieting.
With the plethora of information readily available from medical professionals and institutions via the Internet and consumer health publications, it’s not clear who would benefit from this overview of health issues discussed by a non-professional. There are many, much more comprehensive discussions of these issues, written by doctors, that readers can choose.
Still, elderly males who aren’t familiar with the health topics that may affect their age group may find the book a useful first step in acquainting themselves with age-related health issues.
Also available hardcover and ebook.