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Encourage Men to Take Wellness to Heart

June is Men’s Health Month

6/21/2023

Dr. Daniel Krause, Aspirus Cardiologist

Every June, Men’s Health Month is observed to raise awareness of the most preventable health problems that affect men. With studies showing that women are twice as likely to go to the doctor as men, it is important to encourage men to participate more in their overall wellness to detect and address health problems earlier, when they are most treatable.

Scheduling an annual wellness exam is a simple place to start. Men can make a significant impact on their health by regularly seeing their doctor and participating in the right screenings. Your age, personal and family medical history, lifestyle, and other factors will help determine the schedule.

“When you see your doctor annually, you can be sure to get the screening tests that are right for you,” said Aspirus Cardiologist Dr. Daniel Krause. “Blood pressure and cholesterol checks are important for almost every man over age 20. But as men get older, checks for prostate and colon cancer are recommended as well as screenings for diabetes.”

Men should also know that heart disease is still the leading cause of death in the United States, causing about one in every four male deaths. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the percent of men aged 20 and over with hypertension is 51.9 percent and the same group has a 40.5 percent incidence of obesity. Both are contributing factors for developing heart disease.

“Heart disease can be silent and undiagnosed until serious symptoms emerge, causing a heart attack or heart failure,” said Dr. Krause. “Half of the men who die suddenly of coronary artery disease and heart attacks have had no previous symptoms. We need to be addressing conditions like hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, and obesity early for men. We need to focus on prevention of heart disease before it occurs.”

Another common cardiovascular condition that can seriously raise the risk of heart attack or stroke is Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD), caused by plaque buildup (atherosclerosis) in the arteries. Men may mistake their foot or leg pain as a normal part of aging, from arthritis or overuse. But these symptoms may be related to the plaque clogged arterial passages of PAD.

“PAD is a strong warning that atherosclerosis may be present in other blood vessels, such as those supplying the heart or brain. Atherosclerosis in those locations could lead to heart attack or stroke,” said Dr. Krause.  “If you are experiencing ongoing pain in your legs, don’t ignore it. Talk to your doctor to see if you should be screened for PAD.”

Men should know that it is never too late to start improving their health. They can increase their chance of living longer, and better, by adopting simple health-promoting strategies. By seeing their doctor regularly, eating right, staying active, watching their weight, not smoking, and not ignoring mental health they can enjoy a healthier, more meaningful life.

To make an appointment with an Aspirus provider near you, or to learn about Aspirus Health’s services and locations, visit aspirus.org.

 

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