Whether it is cultural or societal norms, busy schedules, fear, or something else altogether, men are three times less likely to see a physician once a year compared to women. While men are born with a shorter life expectancy than women by six years, they are more likely to engage in unhealthy lifestyle choices such as smoking, alcohol consumption, lack of exercise, and an unhealthy diet. To encourage men to make more healthy lifestyle choices and seek preventative and regular checkups with their physicians, June has been designated as Men’s Health Month.
Here are three statistics about men’s health issues and how to best overcome them!
Heart Disease is the most common cause of death for men of all age groups.
Heart disease is responsible for 24.2% of all male deaths. Half of all men who die of sudden heart disease had no previous symptoms; therefore, preventative screenings and living a healthy lifestyle are essential to minimize your risk. 47% of men have hypertension, a significant risk for heart disease. High blood pressure can have no symptoms, so being aware of your blood pressure and regular monitoring is essential.
Prostate Cancer is the most common form of cancer in men.
According to the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer affects 1 in 9 men. There are 175,000 new cases of prostate cancer every year. Prostate cancer screenings are important because they can find the disease before noticing signs or symptoms. When cancer can be found in the early stages, there is a much better chance of successful treatment. With men being more reluctant to seek annual checkups, it is important to encourage men to see their physician so that conditions like prostate cancer can be found and treated before it’s too late
Men are more likely to live an unhealthy lifestyle than women.
Healthy choices such as regular exercise, a healthy and well-balanced diet, no tobacco use, and limited alcohol consumption are ways men can best limit their risk of developing chronic diseases. This is why promoting these lifestyle factors is so important. Of the men who saw a physician in the past year, only 30% were counseled about smoking, 22% about alcohol and drug use, 44% about diet and weight, and 46% about exercise. Making health promotion the norm is a step in the right direction to help the men in our lives to improve on living a healthy lifestyle. These conversations can be difficult, but they can be life-changing/saving!
Some studies show that many men only seek medical care when they have a severe health issue and don’t attend regular checkups with their doctor. This survey also found that many men admitted to avoiding medical care altogether because they feared that their doctor would find something wrong. Avoiding the root of the problem will not magically make the problem go away, and the repercussions of not taking our health seriously not only affect us, but can be detrimental to the people in our lives who care about us most.
June is National Men’s health month. It is a time to encourage men to seek regular checkups with their doctor for early detection and disease prevention and promote healthy lifestyle choices such as regular exercise, a healthy, well-rounded diet, and healthy stress management techniques. These checkups and healthy lifestyle choices can increase the quality of life and can help prevent and treat chronic diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, diabetes, obesity, and depression.
Written by: Coach Alex