Throughout history, men have had, and continue to have, enormous benefits compared to women in the field of medicine. Women were literally not allowed to practice medicine for centuries, and continue to face discrimination as providers and patients. Yet even as the study of the political, biological, social and other factors that uniquely affect women's health has blossomed into over the past 50 years, the corresponding study of men's health has only recently gained attention. For June, which is Men’s Health Month, we’re debuting a new interview series that we hope helps to change that balance. For our first entry, Matt Luedke, MD talks to us about issues distinctly relevant to men regarding epilepsy.
These differences range from the population level, such as a small but significant increased risk for men, to the biological, such as differences in response to medication, to the social and economic, such as how concerns about seizures can affect men’s livelihoods and hobbies. Along the way, Luedke, busts myths regarding men’s medication habits and offers tips about how men can work with their provider to make decisions that work best for them.
How much of a health concern is epilepsy for men? Are there any ways that the symptoms, response to therapy, or epidemiology of epilepsy differs for men compared to women?
While it can vary from place to place and from study to study, men are a little more likely than women to develop epilepsy in the course of a lifetime. To put this into context, according to one review, if you filled Texas Memorial Stadium, home of the Texas Longhorns football team, and filled to capacity (about 100,000 fans) with randomly selected men, about 51 of them would have epilepsy. If you filled it with randomly selected women, about 46 would have epilepsy. It’s not a huge difference, but it’s there.
Read Part 2 - Neurology and Men's Health: ALS