Health Beat with Dr. Alicia Arnold: Men’s Health Month

Father’s Day is this Sunday…and June is also Men’s Health Month. Dr. Alicia Arnold joined us to discuss some health issues pertaining to men.

Meghan Kulig: Why is it important to have a month to highlight men's health?

Dr. Arnold: Men, in general, are less likely to seek medical care than women. They are about 24 percent less likely to have seen a doctor in the previous year. They tend to seek help later in the course of an illness, which may make it more difficult to treat. This can be problematic because many potentially serious conditions, like heart disease and cancer, may be able to be treated more easily if diagnosed early.

Meghan Kulig: Why are men less likely to seek health care?

Dr. Arnold: Some people think it is because women are more used to having regular medical check-ups for reproductive health, so they are more comfortable seeking care if they have a problem. A census bureau study also reported that men are more likely to be uninsured.

Meghan Kulig: Men have a shorter average lifespan also, right?

Dr. Arnold: Men die on average about 5 years earlier than women. They also have accidental death rates twice those of women.

Meghan Kulig: What are the leading causes of death for men?

Dr. Arnold: Heart disease, cancer, and accidents. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women.

Meghan Kulig: What are some things that a man might commonly have screening tests for?

Dr. Arnold: A man's health care provider should give specific recommendations based on a man's age, personal health history, and family history. For heart health, blood pressure and cholesterol might be checked. More than 30 percent of men have high blood pressure. Age appropriate cancer screenings are another important topic. A physical is also a good time to make sure vaccinations are up to date and to discuss healthy lifestyle suggestions like quitting smoking.

Meghan Kulig: Any other men's health topics you'd like to quickly mention?

Dr. Arnold: Depression is often under diagnosed in men. Men tend to have fewer social support networks than women. Men are also four times more likely than women to commit suicide. Anyone who has any concern about this important topic should seek help right away.

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