You might be vaguely aware that as you get older, your social life is bound to change.   Out goes nights on the town, and in come the doctors and the dreaded prostate exam.   Have you ever stopped to wonder why this might be?  No, your doctor doesn’t have nothing better to do with his day than to chase you around an office asking for endless lab tests, there is a genuine concern because there are many diseases you might inherit.

It turns out the mid-life spread covers more than your beer belly.  As men age, a series of changes occur in the body that can leave you with a less than stellar bill of health.   The risk of cancer (particularly skin cancer, or melanoma, is highly toxic in men), diabetes, Parkinson’s, and heart disease are just some of the consequences of getting older that may be waiting for you.

Furthermore, if your father was diagnosed with any of these conditions, then, during your mid-life, you might be too.  Researchers have found that the saying, ‘Like father like son,’ is especially true with certain hereditary diseases.  Now is the perfect time to sit down with your old man and ask him a few questions about your family health.  You could be saving both of your lives, and needless worry, in the process!

  1. Diseases You Might Inherit – Male Pattern Baldness

Male pattern baldness is common in middle-aged men, affecting an estimated 67% of the population.  If your dad has male pattern baldness, your chances of experiencing the same fate increases exponentially thanks to the hormone DHT.  This hormone binds to the receptors at the roof of your hair follicles.  As you age, less DHT production means less hair follicles have an anchor to hold them in place.  If your dad has bald spots, or a receding hairline, you may be looking at a similar fate.

Male pattern baldness can begin in your teenage years, but it more commonly occurs in adult men with the likelihood increasing with age. Genetics play a big role.  Men who have close relatives—particularly on the maternal side—with male pattern baldness are at a higher risk.

Read more:  What is Male Pattern Baldness?

  1. Diseases You Might Inherit - Adult Acne

With all those hormonal changes, you shouldn’t be too surprised to see a humble reminder of puberty return – acne.  Adult acne is particularly frustrating, as it tends to be an all or nothing scenario, with cystic acne developing in many cases.  This inflamed acne can be treated with topical treatments, but if your symptoms persist for more than six weeks, you may have chronic acne that benefits from a treatment plan discussed with your doctor.

One study compared 204 acne patients with 144 non-acne. The researchers compared the difference in rates of acne in first-degree relatives (parent, sibling, and offspring) between the different patients. They found that having a first-degree relative with acne increases your risk of getting it by 4 times.

Read more:  How Genes Affect Acne And How To Mitigate The Damage

  1. Diseases You Might Inherit - High Blood Pressur

Another one to look out for is high blood pressure.  This potential killer is a top priority for men, but none more so than for men who have a family history.  Due to hereditary and lifestyle factors, if your dad has high blood pressure it is almost certain you will be at risk.  Regular checkups and a diet low in salt, caffeine and stress are all important.  Be sure to instill the same advices on your dad, and make sure he gets on a blood pressure medication if the doctor recommends one.

High blood pressure was a primary or contributing cause of death for more than 360,000 Americans in 2013—that’s nearly 1,000 deaths each day.

Height, hair and eye color runs in families — so can high blood pressure.  If your parents or close blood relatives have had HBP, you are more likely to develop it, too.  You might also pass that risk factor on to your children.  That’s why it’s important for children as well as adults to have regular blood pressure checks.  You can’t control heredity, but you can take steps to live a healthy life and lower your other risk factors.  Lifestyle choices have allowed many people with a strong family history of HBP to avoid it themselves.

Read more:  Understand Your Risk for High Blood Pressure

  1. Diseases You Might Inherit - Herpes

One of the more gruesome diseases on the list, Herpes, is ridiculously common, with 1 in 2 adult men carrying either type 1 or type 2 Herpes Simplex Virus.  The latter is also extremely common and is a cold sore.  These open sores are contagious.  If your dad ever had one while you were a baby and he gave you a kiss, your compromised immune system means you were at risk of infection.  Herpes is also sexually transmitted, but we think you already know how that works.

Ninety percent of all people get at least one cold sore in their life.  This first occurrence is often the worst.  Some children who are affected may become seriously ill.  After the first infection, many people develop antibodies and never have another cold sore.  About 40% of American adults, however, have repeated cold sores.

Read more:  Understanding Cold Sores — the Basics

  1. Diseases You Might Inherit - Obesity

CDC data shows that 73 percent of adult men are either overweight or obese.  If your dad has a round or portly belly, then the danger zone increases for you.  A plump belly is often hereditary, and signals that you have Low T.  Where Testosterone would otherwise burn through fat and enable you to maintain a high metabolism, as we age, the body begins to store fat much more effectively.  If you or your dad have a protruding belly, it is also an indicator of an increased risk of high blood pressure or diabetes.

About 1 in every 7 people with type 1 diabetes has a condition called type 2 polyglandular autoimmune syndrome.  In addition to having diabetes, these people also have thyroid disease and a poorly working adrenal gland.  Some also have other immune system disorders.  If you have this syndrome, your child’s risk of getting the syndrome — including type 1 diabetes — is 1 in 2.

Read more:  Type 1 Diabetes: Your Child’s Risk

So there you have it, five diseases you might inherit from your dad, and what to look out for.  If you think you might be at risk, be sure to talk to your doctor!