Sunday, December 21, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Men fall behind women in caring for their health

scott column sig

By
From page B12 | May 24, 2014 |

Men tend to neglect their health. Nonetheless, a congressional health education program designated June as Men’s Health Month.

Good luck with that.

Studies show that women are 100 percent more likely to visit a doctor than men. Life expectancy for American women is 82 years, versus 76 for men. This six-year discrepancy was only one year in 1920, probably in part due to higher rates of pregnancy-associated deaths a century ago. So women are living longer, and men are lagging behind. We must try to do better.

Men’s Health Month, which I researched through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Men’s Health Network, is devoted to preventing diseases in men and boys, as well as improving treatment strategies for established disease. The challenge is daunting.

For example, men die at higher rates than females for all of the top 10 causes of death in our country. Men are more prone to heart disease, cancer, injuries, stroke, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, suicide and homicide.

Women do, of course, suffer disproportionately from breast cancer. Some of the cancer deaths reflect lifestyle issues, such as smoking, but others probably reflect occupational exposures to carcinogens. Men suffer twice as much hearing loss as women, often occupationally induced. To be sure, women may be increasingly prone to such injuries as well, as they continue to enter historically male-dominated fields of endeavor.

With respect to homicides, men get killed at far higher rates overall, but the influence of ethnicity is perhaps even more significant. For example, 1 in 445 white women die due to homicide, compared to 1 in 179 white men, a stark contrast. Among African-Americans, however, 1 in 132 women is killed, along with an astounding 1 in 30 men. Thus, notwithstanding the tendency for men to succumb to violence at a higher rate than women, it is more dangerous to be a black woman than a white man, in terms of homicide risk.

By age 100, there are eight women alive for every one man. If you doubt this, I suggest you visit a nursing or retirement home, where you will encounter many elderly women and an occasional man. Aside from traumatic death due to homicide, suicide and accidents at work, men also are exposed to the injurious hormonal milieu of the male body.

Specifically, testosterone, which is necessary for health and reproductive vigor, also tends to alter the lipid profile in a deleterious manner. So-called “bad cholesterol,” or LDL, tends to rise under the influence of this hormone, while “good cholesterol, or HDL, declines. To be sure, deficiency of testosterone in middle-aged men may be associated with lack of energy and muscle mass. On the other hand, the aggressive direct-marketing for testosterone supplementation prescriptions, pervasive on many television channels, downplays these risks.

What can we do as individuals to recognize Men’s Health Month? I suggest a frank consideration of one’s personal health situation, perhaps with input from a trusted family physician.

Each person is unique, and I prefer not to offer specific prescriptive advice. Obviously, exercise, healthy eating and minimizing stress make sense for most men. In addition, it is easy to forget about routine age-appropriate health-screening tests. These are legion in number, and cannot be covered completely in a brief column.

Examples, however, include considering colonoscopy after age 50 to rule out colon cancer, periodic evaluations of the prostate gland with a blood test (prostate specific antigen) or digital rectal examination, and review of general internal medicine health status with respect to blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar and similar parameters.

Men’s Health Week should be about well-being and happiness. I think Bobby McFerrin put it perfectly: “Don’t worry, be happy.” Sage advice, by any reasonable standard.

Scott T. Anderson, M.D. (email stamdphd@comcast.net) is clinical professor at UC Davis Medical School. This column is informational, and does not constitute medical advice.

Scott Anderson

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Blue Christmas service offers reflection, hope

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1

 
Shining bright for all to see: Locals deck out yards, homes

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: C1 | Gallery

The Salvation Army serves 1,000-plus across 2 days

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Time for annual Solano County quiz

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A2

Discovery Kingdom upgrades animal, marine mammal facilities

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

 
State Fair scholarship applications available

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

 
Bevy of holiday activities at Western Railway Museum

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Get tested, know your status

By Morgan Westfall | From Page: C4

 
 
New development fees start Jan. 1 in Vacaville

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5

Free New Year’s celebration slated

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5

 
A word of warning for Senator Warren

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: B7, 1 Comment

 
New technology chief will join McNaughton Newspapers

By Tanya Perez | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Fairfield police log: Dec. 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

Suisun City police log: Dec. 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
Sky-high price has VA rationing hep C drug

By Tom Philpott | From Page: B10

.

US / World

Air Force admits nuke flaws, but will fixes work?

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
AP sources: Cops’ killer angry at chokehold death

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 1 Comment

 
Officials: Missing dog was dyed to deceive

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Immigrants build document trails to remain in US

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

California officer kills teen after machete attack

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
4 teens die in fiery head-on crash in Pennsylvania

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

2 dozen injured in southern Indiana bus crash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Police brutality protesters rally at Mall of America

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Texas ranchers seeking alternative incomes

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
North Korea proposes joint probe over Sony hacking

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

2 car bombs rock southern Sweden’s city of Malmo

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Bombings kill 12 in Iraq

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

US sends 4 Afghans back home from Guantanamo

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Panama’s Noriega in prison 25 years post-invasion

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Burying the dead after Pakistan’s school massacre

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
A chance to breach divide for young in Cuba and US

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

.

Opinion

Editorial Cartoon: Dec. 21, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
New school finance strategy lacks accountability

By Dan Walters | From Page: A8

Season’s greetings from the Obamas

By Alexandra Petri | From Page: A8

 
Sound off for Dec. 21, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

 
.

Living

Today in History: Dec. 21, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Why celebrate Christmas?

By Noel Reese | From Page: C3

Vatican offers olive branch to US nuns

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

 
Horoscopes: Dec. 21, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: C4

Should I ask grandson why we weren’t included in wedding photos?

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: C4

 
.

Entertainment

Review: ‘Five’ by Ursula Archer is intriguing

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

 
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

Publisher hopes to sell books through Twitter

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

 
Chris Colfer has multi-book deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

Jerry Lee Lewis: Sustained by brief blaze of glory

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

.

Sports

Interim coaching jobs present challenges in bowls

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
49ers squander 21-point lead in 4th straight loss

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

New Giants 3B McGehee eager to play back home

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Eagles near elimination, fall 27-24 to Redskins

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Raiders place cornerback Brown on injured reserve

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
No. 11 Lady Vols trounce No. 7 Stanford 59-40

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Big moves bring big hope for Chicago baseball

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
US skier Nyman wins Gardena downhill for 3rd time

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Vonn wins women’s World Cup downhill in France

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
This date in sports history for Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
.

Business

Your info has been hacked. Now what do you do?

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
On the money: 4 ways to hold on to your cash when renting a car

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Recalls this week: Bean bag chairs, toy monkeys

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Scarecrows outnumber people in dying Japan town

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

.

Obituaries

Dominic C. Scolaro

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Barbara Jean Bidstrup Braker

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Perry Michael Smetts

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Luzdivina B. Banks

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Arnold Howard Evans

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Anthony Hanson Elder

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Marian Kay Zutz

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Bart Ferro

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics