While a collection of themed buttons and koozies at the informational booth encouraged users to “man up” for men’s health, the City of St. Joseph Health Department’s message Friday was a little more serious.
“Men are less likely to go to the doctor or seek medical attention,” said Nancy Taylor, public health educator with the health department. “They are less likely to get annual checkups and prevention screenings. They are more likely to be uninsured and have more dangerous occupations. They live sicker and die younger than women.”
The informational booth was held in honor of Men’s Health Month, an observance celebrated nationwide during June as a time to increase awareness of preventable health issues and early detection for diseases among males. Common issues include exercise, diet, stress and preventative health care.
“Eat healthy. Be active. Get your annual checkup and prevention screenings,” Taylor said. “Those are just three simple things you can do to help increase your life expectancy and to live longer.”
The Men’s Health Network recommends men get a physical exam every three years from ages 20 to 39, every two years from 40 to 49 and annually after age 50. Men should receive a colonoscopy every three to four years after age 50, according to the network.
Other common screenings include blood pressure checks, chest X-rays, testosterone screenings and electrocardiograms. More information is available at menshealthnetwork.org.
“We want to encourage men, if they don’t have a primary-care provider established, to try to get set up with a medical home so they have a doctor they can go to,” Taylor said. “... They can be reminded when it’s time to get a colonoscopy or a prostate check. Those things are not quite so fun, but they can really be life saving if you can get those screenings.”