June Is Men’s Health Month
Each year in June, Men’s Health Month is celebrated across the country with screenings, health fairs, media appearances, and other health education and outreach activities. The purpose of Men’s Health Month is to heighten awareness of preventable problems and encourage early detection and disease treatment among men and boys. The centerpiece of Men’s Health Month is National Men’s Health week, a special awareness period passed by Congress and signed into law on May 31, 1994.
Men’s Health Month was created to address what has become known as the silent health crisis in America: the fact that on average American men live sicker and die younger than American women. Additionally, men die at higher rates than women from the top 10 causes of death and are the victims of more than 92 percent of workplace deaths. In 1920 women lived, on average, one year longer than men. Now men, on average, die almost six years earlier than women. By the age of 100, women outnumber men eight to one.
Men have a higher death rate for most of the leading causes of death, including heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. So why are men at a greater health risk than women? There are several contributing factors, including:
- A higher percentage of men have no health care coverage.
- Men make half as many physician visits for prevention.
- Society discourages health behavior in men and boys.
- Research on male-specific diseases is underfunded.
- Men may have less healthy lifestyles, including at-risk behaviors at younger ages.
This crisis in America has negatively impacted women, mostly the widows left behind when men die prematurely. For example, of the more than 9 million older persons living alone, 80 percent are women. Additionally, more than half the elderly widows living in poverty were not poor before the death of their husbands
To learn more about Men’s Health Month, please visit www.MensHealthMonth.org