Men asked to make their health a priority

Published On: Jun 09 2014 03:49:42 PM EDT
Updated On: Jun 09 2014 05:00:00 PM EDT

This is "National Men's Health Week." It's celebrated each year in the days leading up to Father's Day and designed to give men a chance to make their health a priority, if they haven't already.  Cleveland Clinic Physician Dr. Daniel Sullivan says "Men's Health Week" should also heighten the awareness of preventable health problems among both men and boys.

"The most likely thing that is going to affect a male is cardiovascular disease- heart attacks and strokes. And the groundwork for those illnesses start when we're young and then progress as we get older," he said.

Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control found women are much more likely to visit the doctor for annual examinations and preventative services than men. They also found men, on average, die almost five years earlier than women. Heart disease and cancer cause the most deaths among men and men have fewer infection-fighting T-cells, and are thought to have weaker immune systems.

To combat this, Sullivan says all men should have regular blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol checks. He also says it's also critical to maintain a healthy weight because most men gain about 2 pounds per year.

"And as we slowly gain that weight, we then develop high blood pressure, our cholesterol can sneak up, and there's an epidemic of diabetes in this country," said Sullivan. "Currently 1 in 8 people have diabetes and the projection is that by 2030 1 out of 3 of us will have diabetes."

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