For reasons that aren’t always clear, men simply don’t go to the doctor as often as women. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, women visit their healthcare provider 40% more often than men.
That may be an explanation for what the Washington Post recently called a “silent crisis in men’s health.” Data shows that men’s reluctance to visit the doctor may lead to the diagnosis of serious health challenges at later stages, leading to more-severe disease and worse outcomes, including a shorter life expectancy.
This weekend is Father’s Day and wraps up National Men’s Health Week, which is a good reminder to encourage dads and other men in your life to think about their health.
As you prepare to celebrate the guys in your life, encourage them to look after their own health and schedule their annual doctor or dental appointment or schedule that specialist appointment they’ve been putting off.
Our mental health is just as important to treat and maintain as our physical health. If you are worried about the men in your life or if you need someone to talk to because you are in a mental health crisis, please call 988, Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. It also is important to address substance use disorder when you address your mental health. Check out the resources from the OARLine to assist in addressing opioid use or addiction.
Men’s life expectancy is about 6 years shorter than women. Men also die at a higher rate than women from diabetes, heart disease, cancer, kidney disease, and influenza, according to the CDC.
Regular medical appointments can identify health concerns early and give men the opportunity to address them before they become more serious. A healthy diet, exercise, drinking lots of water, and reducing stress all are important steps. So is talking with your health care provider about whether you’re due for a prostate exam (recommended by age 50) or colonoscopy (age 45).
This Father’s Day is a good reminder for men and boys to schedule time for a visit to a healthcare provider that can help them enjoy good health for years to come.