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Our View: Awareness of men’s health important

For more than 20 years, each June has been set aside to raise awareness about men’s health issues and concerns. Men’s Health Month began in 1994 to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys.

This month gives health care providers, public policy makers, the media, and individuals an opportunity to encourage men and boys to seek regular medical advice and early treatment for disease and injury.

Men’s Health Month is celebrated across the country with screenings, health fairs, media appearances and other health education and outreach activities.

Raising awareness about men’s health is important because men die at higher rates than women from nine of the 10 leading causes of death in the U.S., including heart disease, cancer, injuries, stroke, suicide and HIV/AIDS.

Men are also the victims of more than 92 percent of workplace deaths.

Depression in men is often undiagnosed contributing to the fact men are four times more likely to commit suicide.

Other lesser known men’s health facts include:

— The male fetus is at greater risk of miscarriage and stillbirth.

— Approximately 25 percent more newborn males die than females.

— Three of every five SIDS cases involve boys.

— Men suffer hearing loss at twice the rate of women.

— Testosterone is linked to elevations of LDL, the bad cholesterol, and declines in HDL, the good cholesterol.

— Men have few infection-fighting T-cells and are thought to have weaker immune systems than women.

Despite these statistics, according to the Centers for Disease Control, women are 100 percent more likely to visit the doctor for annual examinations and preventative services than men.

All of this leads to a lower life expectancy for men, 76.4 for men in 2014 to 81.2 for women.

In fact, by the age of 100, women outnumber men eight to one.

This is why raising awareness about the health concerns and the need for preventative care is essential.

This month, take the time to talk to the men in your life about these concerns and encourage them to see a doctor for annual exams and to monitor their health.

If you are a man, learn more about men’s health at menshealthnetwork.org. Schedule an annual exam and follow up on your doctor’s recommendations. Create awareness among your other male family and friends as well.