SAN DIEGO, June 27, 2017–Bringing you the heart of the matter in LifeCycles by Laurie Edwards-Tate-All about Men’s Health Month.
As the national celebration of Men’s Health Month comes to a close this June, it is critical that the subject of men’s health continues as part of the national health care discussion.
According to Dr. Gremillion, published in menshealthnetwork.org ,
“There is a silent health crisis in America…it’s the fact that, on average, American men live sicker and die younger than American women.”
It is estimated that men die approximately 5 years earlier than women.
Here are morbidity rates by top disease processes which compare men and women, published by Men’s Health Network:
Cause and Rate Men Women
Heart disease 210.9 131.8
Cancer 192.9 138.1
Injuries 54.7 27.3
Stroke 36.9 35.6
Suicide 20.7 5.8
HIV/AIDS 3.0 1.1
In the public statement released from President Donald J. Trump, June 12, 2017, he had the following to say:
“I encourage all fathers, brothers, and sons to prioritize their health and well-being by learning more about preventive health practices and steps they can take to live longer healthier lives.”
As marketing and advertising continue to exemplify men as eating large burgers, consuming alcohol and smoking, driving fast cars and the like, it might be perceived as masculine and sexy while promulgating behaviors which lack preventive health measures which lead to unhealthier and shorter lives.
“We argue that capitalism and patriarchy…limit men’s choices and impact their health. A psychology of men’s health situates men in their social, cultural and political contexts, addressing the social construction of masculinities and…can explain men’s reluctance to seek help; avoidance of emotional expression; unsafe sex; behaviours and risk taking including drug use, crime and dangerous sports,” (Journal of Health Psychology, published in Sage journals.)
It is estimated that women are more likely to visit the doctor annually at the rate of 100% more frequently than men.
In a Cleveland Clinic national poll of more than 500 men age 18 and over, published in CBS News, it was discovered that men, in general, do not like discussing their health.
In fact, the poll revealed that only 7 percent discuss health issues with their male friends, and about 22 percent do not discuss their health with anyone.
With a general stiff upper lip approach which relates to sense of masculinity, men would be more willing to discuss a sports injury or weight gain than other health concerns.
Men without spouses are seriously out of luck in the health care department as 48 percent of those polled revealed they might discuss their health concerns with their spouses.
President Donald J. Trump continues to say in his June Statement that “…we support expanded education, awareness, and choice in health care…and with focused individual effort, more men will live free of the daily worry too often caused by preventable or treatable pain,
“…we support expanded education, awareness, and choice in health care…and with focused individual effort, more men will live free of the daily worry too often caused by preventable or treatable pain, illness, and disease.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend the following priorities for men’s health:
Get a good night’s sleep of 7-9 hours.
Get more exercise.
Eat healthily and reduce high caloric foods and drinks, sugar, salt, fat, and alcohol.
Pay attention and value any unusual health symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, excessive thirst and problems with urination. Seek immediate attention if any of these symptoms begin or persist.
Celebrating men’s health must continue as an ongoing part of the national health care discussion.
Beginning with young boys and throughout the duration of their lives, men need to be socially reconditioned to view preventive healthcare as a human right and necessity while removing any stigma which might cause the perception of losing masculinity.
Ongoing education about the appropriate preventive testing and what age that needs to occur is imperative.
Healthcare and medical professionals, sports psychologists, workplaces, family members, media efforts and more would be compelled to provide a safe harbor of information and referral sources which would enable men to feel a whole lot better about taking care of their health.
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Until next time, enjoy the ride in good health!