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Providers Weigh In: Why Women Out Live Men

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

As men top the charts in heart disease, cancer, and unintentional injuries, the month of June is dedicated to the health of men in an effort to heighten awareness of preventable problems and encourage detection and treatment of disease among men and boys. Dr. Michael Abern, assistant professor of urologic oncology at UI Health says, "While men are reluctant to seek health care, through education and awareness we can change the impact men's health has on families, friends, and communities."

Dr. Michael Abern, assistant professor of urologic oncology
Michael Abern, M.D., B.S.
Assistant professor of urologic oncology at UI Health

Studies show men are more likely than women to develop the most serious chronic conditions, such as heart disease, cancer and stroke. According to the Centers for Disease Control men have more reason than ever to listen including the following:

  • Men tend to smoke and drink more than women
  • Men don't seek medical help as often as women
  • Some men define themselves by their work, which can add to stress     
  • Some health conditions affect only men, such as prostate cancer and low testosterone
  • African American men are twice as likely to develop prostate cancer

One main issue among males is their reluctance to seek care from medical professionals compared to women. Men are 24 percent less likely than women to have visited a doctor within the past year, and are 22 percent more likely to have neglected their cholesterol tests, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Many diseases men battle such as cancer and heart disease can be prevented if detected in early stages. Men's Health Month  is to encourage men to be an advocate for their own health and take part in annual appointments along  with following up with health concerns.

Dr. Abern weighs in with the following tips:

  • Know your family's medical history
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Attend regular physical exams
  • Keep a copy of your health records
  • Be more physically active
  • Maintain a healthy diet – eating fruits and vegetables and avoiding fried foods
  • Stay tobacco free
  • Manage stress

It is easier to prevent than it is to cure. Don't wait and schedule your annual physical today with your UI Health provider!