In 1920, women lived, on average, one year longer than men. Now, men, on average, die almost six years earlier than women.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, women are 100 percent more likely to visit the doctor for annual examinations and preventive services than men.
Men can be safer, stronger and healthier at work, home and play by taking daily steps and getting care when needed. Improvingmen's healthis not limited to the doctor’s office or hospital. Improving men’s health starts at home with individuals and families taking steps to live safer and healthier lives.
Men need to be informed about their health. The first step in this is to learn your family health history. Are there any new conditions or diseases that have occurred in your close relatives since your last visit?
If so, let your doctor or nurse know. Family history might influence your risk of developing heart disease, stroke, diabetes or cancer.
Your doctor or nurse will assess your risk of disease based on your family history and other factors. He or she may also recommend things you can do to help prevent disease, such as exercising more, changing your diet, or using screening tests to help detect disease early.
Men should know and understand their numbers. Keep track of your numbers for blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, body mass index (BMI) and more. These numbers can provide a glimpse of your health status and risk for certain diseases and conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, obesity and more. Be sure to ask your doctor or nurse what tests you need and how often. If your numbers are high or low, he or she can explain what they mean and make recommendations to help you get them to a healthier range.
Men should strive to work safely. Daily, an estimated 11,500 private-sector workers have a nonfatal work-related injury or illness, and as a result, more than half require a job transfer, work restrictions or time away from their jobs.
— Know what your job requires.
— Use safety equipment.
— Use and carry tools and equipment properly.
— Select the correct tools and equipment.
— Get proper training.
— Get assistance when needed.
— Take precautions to prevent injury.
— Take breaks and rest when needed.
— Use chemicals and other hazardous substances with care.
Men should work with their medical provider to stay healthy. Some men say, “I feel fine.” To them that means they must be healthy and don’t need to get a checkup. Unfortunately, there are certain diseases or conditions that may not have symptoms. See your doctor or nurse for regular check-ups, and go more often if needed.
Health services for individuals with no or low health coverage are available through federally-funded health centers, where the fee is based on what the individual can pay.
Men should pay attention to signs and symptoms indicating they need to seek medical attention. Discharge. Excessive thirst. Rash or sore. Problems with urination. Shortness of breath. These are only a few of the symptoms that males should pay attention to and see a doctor about if they occur. It could be a symptom for a sexually transmitted disease, diabetes, heart disease, cancer or other conditions or diseases.
If you have symptoms, be sure to see your doctor right away. Keep in mind that a physical exam, screening or test may be needed to correctly diagnosis and treat a problem. Also, some diseases and conditions do not have symptoms. That’s why it's important to get regular check-ups.
Men’s health is not just a men’s issue. It truly is a family issue because of our roles as husbands, brothers and fathers to the females in our lives. Men, celebrate this Father’s Day by doing something for those who are most important to you. Take care of your health.
For more information, contact the Clark County Health Department at 744-4482 or visit www.clarkhealthdept.org.