June is Men’s Health Month! This month we would like to highlight the preventive care and nutritional health care benefits available to men all month long! A recent study found that men have the tendency to hold stereotypical perceptions of masculinity and are more often hesitant to visit health care providers. Stereotypes aside, men need to pay more attention to their health. Compared to women, men are more likely to smoke and drink, make unhealthy or risky choices, and put off regular check-ups and medical care. Major health risks like heart disease, can be prevented and treated with early diagnosis. By taking small steps to improve your health, like going to your physician for regular checkups even when you feel healthy can save you a whole lot of trouble later. Below are a list of screenings that you should receive regularly as a form of preventative care:
Blood pressure should be checked at least once a year, especially if it is over 120/80.
Cholesterol should be checked every four to six years, but more frequently if you have diabetes, risk factors for heart disease or family history of high cholesterol.
Diabetes screenings should be done every three years starting at age 45. The American Diabetes Association recommends more frequent screenings in patients 45 and older and 45 and younger, if you have diabetes risk factors -- such as being overweight, having a family history of type 2 diabetes, or having high blood pressure.
The American Cancer society recommends that men should gain as much knowledge as they can about screening risks and benefits with their physician. It is also recommended that screening for men with a higher than average risk for prostate cancer at age 45, including African American men and men with a first-degree relative diagnosed before age 65. Those at average risk may begin screening at age 50.