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June is Men's Health Month. This national observance is all about encouraging boys and men and their families to make healthy lifestyle choices such as getting regular screenings, eating healthy, and exercising. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men die, on average, five years earlier than women, which is why it is so important men take an active role in their health by being aware of preventable conditions and early detection.
According to the CDC webpage on men's health:
- 13.2% of men ages 18 and over are considered in fair or poor health
- 40.5% of men ages 20 and over are considered obese
- 51.9% of men ages 20 and over have hypertension (measured high blood pressure and/or taking antihypertensive medication)
Screenings and annual exams
Speak openly with your primary care provider and don't wait until you are sick to schedule a visit. An annual appointment will allow you to discuss any new symptoms or concerns. Make sure to:
- Get prostate health checked. Prostate cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in men. All men are at risk for prostate cancer, and the risk increases with age. Early detection is crucial. To learn more about screening for prostate cancer, visit Prostate Cancer Health Tips/CDC.
- Get testosterone levels checked. This male hormone peaks during the teenage and young adult years. It naturally declines with age, but lower than normal levels can be connected to diabetes, heart disease, and depression.
- Get cholesterol checked. Having high blood cholesterol can lead to plaque buildup in the arteries, putting you at risk for heart disease and stroke. Since there are no symptoms associated with high cholesterol, it is important that you schedule regular checkups.
- Get blood pressure checked. A greater percentage of men than women have high blood pressure, and your lifestyle choices can increase your risk for the condition. The good news is you can turn high blood pressure around with simple healthy habits. Did you know being physically active can lower your blood pressure?
Johns Hopkins resources
The Black Men's Health Project is a collaboration between the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, and Michigan State University with the goal of disrupting health patterns that have taken a toll on generations of Black men. Among other social determinants, the project looks at how social conditions such as racism, segregation, and discrimination affect the health of Black men.
The Johns Hopkins Center for Transgender Health embraces diversity and inclusion and provides affirming, objective, and person-centered care. In addition to improving health and enhancing wellness, the center educates interdisciplinary health care professionals to provide culturally competent, evidence-based care; informs the public on transgender health issues; and advances medical knowledge by conducting biomedical research.
Johns Hopkins benefits resources
MySupport employee assistance program. Men sometimes have deep-seated beliefs that they shouldn't have feelings. They may feel lonely, scared, and isolated but hesitate to talk openly about these issues. They may try to handle difficult matters on their own, without realizing the negative impact such stress might have on their well-being. To learn more, read this flyer about men's mental health from Aetna Resources for Living. To get help for yourself or to refer a family member, you can schedule an appointment with a mySupport counselor by calling 443-997-7000 or using an online form.
Work Stride: Managing Cancer at Work. Learn some facts about the second most common cancer in men (after skin cancer)—prostate cancer. If you are a cancer patient or a caregiver of someone with the disease, you also can reach out directly to a nurse navigator to discuss cancer prevention tools and/or resources. Call 844-446-6229 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
WW is for men, too. Research shows that movement decreases your risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers. Plus, it works to improve your overall well-being. In honor of Men's Health Month, WW's Coach Joe talks about how you can make activity work for you; check out this one-minute video with tips on how you can make activity easier to fit into your life. Get a variety of in-app workouts when you become a WW member. Join through Johns Hopkins University for as low as $8.48 per month—that's 50% off the retail price; go to WW.com/us/johnshopkinsuniversity to sign up.