Why Men’s Health Matters

| 3 min read

Patient in a medical consult wearing face mask
Men’s Health Month is celebrated every June to help men create a healthy lifestyle for themselves. There are many men’s health problems that need increased awareness so there can be an opportunity to create longer, healthier lives for men.
The truth is, men don’t live as long as women. Although the male to female ratio at birth is 105:100, by the age of 65-74 the ratio of men to women is 80:100. So, what’s behind this disparity?
For starters, men are plagued with statistics that affect their gender more than women. Due to this, men must be more conscious of their body. Here are a few facts to start the path to better health for not only men but their families as well:
  1. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men (and women) in the United States. Men are twice as likely than women to have a heart attack. Individuals who are overweight, have high cholesterol, diabetes, hypertension, or lipid disease have a higher risk for heart disease and should pay attention to symptoms, which could include fatigue, congestion, swelling, stomach pain, jaw pain or numbness in the arm. To reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, create healthy eating and exercise habits in your life.
  1. Men are more likely to use illicit drugs and two times more likely to binge drink than women. It can be very difficult to address a substance use disorder, but it is important to get appropriate care. Be sure to consult medical or mental health professionals for proper treatment for you or a loved one.
  1. More men are smokers than women. Smoking is one of the worst habits an individual can have and it can also damage nearly every organ in your body. Trying to kick the habit of smoking can be very difficult. To find proper resources, connect with your primary care physician.
  1. Nearly 75 percent of American men are considered overweight or obese. Creating a balanced diet and lifestyle is very important. Men must pay extra attention to their intake of lycopene, calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron and vitamin B12. Along with a healthy diet, be sure to include regular physical activity as well.
  1. One in three males are at risk of developing some form of cancer in their lifetime. The three most common cancers affecting men in the U.S. are colorectal, lung and prostate. Men must be sure to make time for tests and screenings as well as to know family history to be aware of their health risks.
  1. Six million men are affected by depression every year in the United States. For men, many cases of mental illness go undiagnosed. This is due to not being aware of the symptoms or not seeking the help needed. Pay attention to your loved ones and learn the signs. Though feeling sad can be a normal feeling, be sure to look for reoccurring feelings, and be there for one another.
June may be dedicated to Men’s Health Month, but men’s health is important every other month too. Be sure to make the needed appointments and get the most value out of them. Continue to increase awareness and the importance of health for generations ahead.
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Photo Credit: Getty Images

A Healthier Michigan is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
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