Get on board with Men’s Health Week
Too often men tend to downplay or ignore their health. As part of Men’s Health Week, running from June 10 - 15, the Chicago Dental Society will bring men and their loved ones interesting articles and information to shine a spotlight on men’s health issues.
Men’s Health Week aims to increase awareness of preventable health problems and encourage screenings that can provide early detection and treatment of diseases facing men. Patients, providers and health care partners can get the ball rolling by wearing blue clothing or accessories on Friday, June 14, as part of “Wear Blue Friday” to raise awareness for men’s health and well-being
This is the perfect time to focus on preventative steps and small lifestyle changes that can make a big impact on men’s health.
What are some ways to stay healthy?
- Visit your physician and dentist.
- Develop a good relationship with your provider.
- Be aware of signs and symptoms.
- Develop a healthy lifestyle.
Dr. Santanu Agrawal, former deputy administrator for program integrity and director of the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services Center for Program Integrity, shared his observations on men’s health in an interview with Quality Improvement Organization.
“Overall, I draw both on my experience at CMS and as a practicing clinician,” he said. “So I see there is generally good news for men’s health. Life expectancy is improving, but there are caveats. There is maldistribution of health involving chronic illnesses like cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Socioeconomically disadvantaged men — and all people in general — are at a different place with respect to disease burden and access to resources. Disease prevalence for diabetes and obesity also varies with racial, ethnic and socioeconomic status.”
Still, Dr. Agrawal sees cause for concern in bad habits.
“I plead guilty that like so many men, I too have put off getting my preventive checkups and screenings in the past. I certainly remember from my clinical practice the great lengths to which many men would go to avoid seeing their physician, and it was only when their health worsened that they would visit their primary care doctor.“
He stressed the importance of preventative screenings and preventative care as the right approach. “From improving immunization rates to increasing colorectal cancer screening rates to increasing the identification of behavorial health issues like alcohol use disorder and depression,” Dr. Agrawai said, community-based health care providers are at the forefront of improving men’s health.
Tomorrow: Men and oral health care needs.