STATE — National Men’s Health Week is June 11-17, and the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) encourages men to take proactive steps to help avoid preventable illnesses and disease.
“The purpose of Men’s Health Week is to heighten awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys,” said Health and Senior Services Commissioner Mary E. O’Dowd.
Gov. Chris Christie has issued a proclamation in support of National Men’s Health Week.
Male life expectancy is 76 years while a female’s life expectancy is 80 years. Several factors may account for the longevity gap, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Agency for Health Care Resources and Quality (AHRQ):
- 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
- Men are 28 percent more likely than women to be hospitalized for congestive heart failure
- Men are 32 percent more likely than women to be hospitalized for long-term complications of diabetes and are more than twice as likely as women to have a leg or foot amputated due to complications related to diabetes
- Men are 24 percent more likely than women to be hospitalized for pneumonia that could have been prevented by getting an immunization
“Men’s Health Week give us an opportunity to encourage men to seek regular medical advice, early treatment for disease and to lead healthy lifestyles by eating a balanced diet, maintaining a healthy weight, staying active and managing work/life balance to reduce stress,” O’Dowd said.
The Men’s Health Network encourages everyone to wear blue to remind men of the importance of staying healthy.
“African American men have higher rates of being diagnosed with and dying from prostate cancer than men of other racial or ethnic groups in the U. S,” said Dr. Arturo Brito, Deputy Commissioner of Public Health Services. “In fact, an African American man has a 19 percent chance of being diagnosed with prostate cancer and a 5 percent chance of dying from the disease.”
DHSS offers colorectal and prostate cancer screenings as well as outreach and education for low-income uninsured individuals through the New Jersey Cancer Education and Early Detection (NJCEED) program. The program, which is operated in all 21 counties in New Jersey through 23 NJCEED Lead Agencies, receives $6 million in state funding.
In FY 2011, 1,229 men were screened for prostate cancer and 922 men were screened for colorectal cancer through NJCEED. More information about the NJCEED program is available at: http://www.state.nj.us/health/cancer/njceed/
Throughout the month, the Department’s NJCEED program will work with various county Cancer Coalitions to promote cancer screenings in African American communities. As part of a campaign called, “No Man Left Behind: Blue Ribbon Campaign to End Prostate Cancer,” barbers are being trained as health ambassadors to talk to their customers about prostate cancer and provide information on where they can find screenings in their local communities.
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