KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — June is Men’s Health Month. It’s a time to highlight the importance of maintaining consistent health routines and checkups.
Many of the health issues that target men are preventable and that’s why the observance is shining a light on ways for better health outcomes for men.
“Yeah, well, I can say as a family doctor for 27 years, that oftentimes men don’t make appointments to come in. They often don’t take advantage of wellness exams and oftentimes, it’s the woman of the household who makes those appointments and so, men tend to be less engaged with their health than women, and men. have worse health outcomes held hence, men die sooner than women,” says Summitt Medical Group, Executive Medical Director Dr. Eric Penniman. On average, men die five years earlier than women.
According to Harvard Medical, men are more likely to:
- Not see a doctor for regular checkups
- Make risky choices
- Drink alcohol and use tobacco
“You know, when we talk about men’s health, prostate cancer often comes up. And while it’s the most common cancer, it’s not the most common cause of cancer death. The most common cause of cancer death in men is lung cancer. And in Tennessee, we have higher rates of it because we have higher rates of smoking,” says Penniman.
With regular checkups, a low-dose CT scan is available to help with early detection.
“Certainly the number one cause of death in men is cardiovascular disease. So every good wellness exam should be an evaluation of the risk factors. So risk factors for cardiovascular disease are obviously being a man. It has particularly a man over age 50 is a risk factor, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, physical inactivity, smoking.”
Penniman stresses men find a fitness routine that gets their heart rate up, combining strength training and cardio. Men should also schedule yearly physicals, especially once they reach age 50.
Men’s Health Month also focuses on the health of boys and establishing healthy habits starting at a young age.