How to Take Stock of Your Health During Men’s Health Month

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease and cancer are the top two leading causes of death in men. More than 40% of men aged 20 and older are obese, and nearly 52% have hypertension. This Men’s Health Month, Permanente adult and family medicine physician Jason Singh, MD, has a message for men: “It’s not unmanly” to seek preventive care. He spoke with WJLA and offered practical tips for men of all ages looking to get a better handle on their physical and mental well-being.

“When you stratify the top ten leading causes of death by gender, men lead in almost every one of those categories,” Dr. Singh said. “By and large, most of those conditions are manageable and preventable.”

Dr. Singh said men of all ages should make preventive care appointments with their primary care physicians. Routine exams and lab work can often catch health problems in early stages. He said the earlier issues are caught, the better the outcome.

“Only 40% of men go to the doctor when they fear they have a serious medical condition,” Dr. Singh said.

He said there are things men can do at home to improve their health. Eating well and exercising can improve sleep and help reduce stress and anxiety. Dr. Singh explained that primary care doctors can connect patients to mental health resources like therapists and psychiatrists, as well as explain mindfulness exercises. Calm is a mental health app designed to help lower stress, reduce anxiety, and more. Kaiser Permanente patients can access all the great features of the Calm app at no additional cost.

“We really ought to encourage that seeking help for mental health is a sign of strength and that ought to be highly encouraged. It’s not unmanly to talk about mental health,” he said.

For more information about men’s health and cancer prevention, watch a Facebook Live event with Permanente physicians on June 22.