The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) and the Oklahoma City-County Health Department are celebrating Men’s Health Month during June. Men are encouraged to take steps to be healthy and lower their risks of chronic diseases.
Heart disease and cancer are leading causes of death among men 18 and older in Oklahoma. Death certificate data show the most notable increase occurred in hypertensive heart disease, jumping from 46.2 deaths/100,000 population in 2014 to 75.9 deaths in 2016. Deaths from complications of diabetes in men also increased from 46.1 deaths/100,000 population in 2014 to 51.9 deaths in 2016. Death rates due to diabetes among men 65 and older are twice as high as those less than 65.
The U.S Preventive Services Task Force recommends screening for high blood pressure in adults 18 years or older, screening for abnormal blood glucose as part of cardiovascular risk assessment in adults aged 40 to 70 years who are overweight or obese, and screening for colorectal cancer starting at age 50 years and continuing until age 75 years. According to data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey conducted in 2016, 59.6 percent of Oklahoma men 45 years and older reported having a colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy, which are procedures used to examine the colon.
Many conditions, including chronic health issues associated with these diseases, can be prevented or detected early.
Steps toward better health include:
- Setting health goals such as being active and maintaining a healthy weight.
- Being tobacco-free.
- Getting regular checkups and preventive screenings.
- Getting enough sleep.
- Eating fruits and vegetables every day.
- Drinking more water and less sugary drinks.
- Taking prescription medication only as prescribed.
- Taking time for yourself with activities you enjoy.
This month, the OSDH is also celebrating Father’s Day and fatherhood by promoting healthy relationships between fathers and children, which can contribute to their children’s healthy development. The National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse states that children learn more, perform better in school, and exhibit healthier behavior when they have responsible fathers involved in their lives.
For more information on men and health, visit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at https://www.cdc.gov/family/nmhw/index.htm. The Shape Your Future Program offers many resources on good health athttps://shapeyourfutureok.com. The National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse provides resources to encourage and strengthen fathers and families at https://www.fatherhood.gov/.