It is National Men’s Health Week in the days leading up to Father’s Day. An occasion to reflect on what men can be doing to improve their own health. One good idea is to get a primary care physician and have an annual exam. It is difficult to know what your blood pressure is or your cholesterol or your thyroid status without checking. I started going for an annual exam at age 40. It might be wise to go sooner if one is above ideal weight, a smoker, or has a strong family history of heart/vascular disease or cancer. The President weighed in this week with this excerpt from his Message on Men’s Health Week, 2019.
“Two of the most consequential medical challenges facing American men are heart disease and depression. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 1 in 13 adult men live with heart disease, and approximately 1 in 10 men are likely to experience some form of depression or anxiety. The CDC also reports that men are less likely than women to visit a healthcare provider or receive an annual health exam. It is imperative that we remove stigmas around seeking mental health treatment, and we must encourage men to take the necessary steps to reduce stress, become more physically active, and improve their diets… During Men’s Health Week, I urge our country’s fathers, brothers, and sons to incorporate healthy changes into their lifestyles to mitigate the risks of common illnesses and diseases facing American men. Together, we can all focus on improving our physical and mental health so that we may live healthier, fuller lives.”