Men’s Health Issues: Common Challenges, Overcoming Myths
In honor of Men’s Health Month, we are taking a look at some of the unique health challenges men face. Men are more likely to develop health conditions like:
- Heart disease
- Prostate cancer
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
These are just some of the many potential health conditions men may face in life. Fear is one of the main reasons why the majority of men avoid going to the doctor. Even though going to the doctor can be nerve racking, it is important to know your health status and catch problems early on.
Most Common Men’s Health Problems
Because of their reluctance to see a doctor, men are more likely than women to be diagnosed with a disease or illness when it is further along, and treatment is more complicated.
- Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men in the U.S., accounting for one in every four male deaths. Heart disease is more common among whites, African-Americans, and Latinos.
- Approximately one man in every nine will be diagnosed with prostate cancer.
- Studies show that men under 50 are more likely to have high blood pressure than women of the same age. High blood pressure can lead to stroke, heart attack, heart failure, or kidney failure if left undiagnosed and untreated.
- Men are almost twice as likely as women to die from accidents including a fall, a car accident, drowning, or violence.
Bad Health Habits
The numbers above seem high until you consider that men are more likely to have unhealthy habits that lead to many of these issues.
- Almost 16% of men smoke cigarettes and they often start before they turn 18 years old.
- Almost 31% of men over age 18 have five or more alcoholic beverages a day.
- High blood pressure in men is usually a result of stress, diet, alcohol, and tobacco use. (For women its most often linked to obesity or hormonal changes).
- According to the Census Bureau, men make up nearly 55% of those without health insurance in the U.S.
- Perhaps most dangerous of all, up to 60% of men are unlikely to seek medical care, even when they believe that they may be seriously ill. The Centers for Disease Control found that men are three times as likely to go without a doctor visit for five or more years.
Myths About Men’s Health
Unfortunately, our cultures around the world tell men that they should be tough, brave, and strong. They are encouraged to “man up” to earn respect. One of the side effects of this is that men often believe going to the doctor is as a sign of weakness.
- Men don’t want to change – the doctor may advise they lose weight, stop smoking, cut down on alcohol
- Everything’s probably fine – men may not have any symptoms, so they don’t want to “waste” their time or money
- They can play through it – athletes do it all the time, so many men believe they can just deal with the pain
Encourage the men in your life to understand how important it is to seek regular care for their health. Living longer and healthier requires effort —especially getting routine medical checkups, quitting smoking, cutting back on alcohol, getting or staying active, and seeking mental health help if it is needed.
Men should also find a doctor they are comfortable talking with about all of these issues and concerns. See our doctor finder if you or a loved one doesn’t have a regular doctor, or needs to find one that speaks your preferred language.
The Department of Health and Human Services has found that men are often reluctant to get health information in traditional places like doctor’s offices. In that case, the mobile AltaMed clinic may be just what the doctor ordered!
We’ve made health care easier than ever with bilingual staff, health screenings, and education in locations that are convenient to you. Check out the information below to find locations and hours that are convenient for you.
Northgate Markets throughout Los Angeles and Orange County
The Mexican Consulate
The Mexican Consulate will be providing glucose and blood pressure screenings monthly from 9am-12pm at 2401 W 6th St, Los Angeles. Below are the dates you can get screened:
- Thursday, June 27
- Thursday, July 25
- Thursday, August 22
- Thursday, September 26
- Thursday, October 24
- Thursday, November 28
City of HPPD National Night Out
AltaMed will be providing free adult health screenings and resources at 6542 Miles Ave., in Huntington Park on Tuesday, August 6. The Huntington Park Police Department will be hosting this event and there will be community organizations, food, and giveaways.