by Ray Bendici
Jan 22, 2013
06:49 AMUnsteady Habits
Man Up, Connecticut
State of Connecticut Comptroller Kevin Lembo has recently launched Man Up, a campaign aimed to raise awareness about men's health issues and to promote preventative medicine, which helps everyone in the long run.
According to Lembo, in 1920, on average, women lived one year longer than men. Now, men die about six years earlier than women. (I think there's some sort of Al Bundy-inspired joke to insert here about wanting to die to get out of marriage sooner, but as a married man, I wouldn't dare make it.)
In an op-ed he's authored for CT News Junkie, Lembo also adds:
"In addition to dying younger, men are also more likely to develop the most serious chronic conditions. According to the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), men are 50 percent more likely than women to die of cancer, and almost twice as many men as women die of heart disease.
Despite these facts, women are 100 percent more likely to visit the doctor for annual examinations and preventative services than men, according to the CDC."
Guilty as charged, I have to admit. Just this year, I had my "annual" physical after skipping it for the past five years or so. It's not that I don't want to be healthy, I think it's more that nothing seems to be broken, so why fix it? But as I know, the idea here is to make sure it's all good before it breaks.
I would suggest that this campaign might enjoy extra success if it appealed to men in terms that they might better appreciate. For example, by comparing mens' bodies to the cars that we love so much—maybe something along the lines of "You wouldn't wait until the engine breaks down completely before you would do a tune up or have the oil changed, right? So why treat your body like that?" Or, "Don't wait for your Check Engine light to come on—schedule your annual physical today." You get the idea.
Lembo is leading a roundtable discussion at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 23 at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford, that is open to the public. The discussion among medical professionals, policy makers and others will cover health-care perspectives from men, health-care providers and carriers as well as look at issues for minority men seeking equal care.
For info on the event and more about men's health, visit osc.ct.gov/manup/events/.
Man Up, Connecticut