June 14, 2016
not, most men are known for not staying on top of their health: A few beers
here, brisket or burger there … or putting off that doctor checkup. During Men’s Health Week
(June 13-19), the physicians of the Texas Medical Association (TMA) want to
remind men to make their health a priority — for themselves and their families.
After all, doctors say, keeping healthy has its rewards: avoiding chronic
disease and allowing more quality time with friends and family.
things can mean huge improvements in our health,” said Lenore DePagter, DO, a San
Marcos internist. “We physicians prefer to help our patients improve their
health, rather than having to treat them when illness or disease strikes.”
Men’s Health Week aims to
raise awareness of preventable health problems and encourage men and boys to
seek regular medical advice and early treatment for disease and injury.
A simple path
to good health includes eating right, staying active, quitting smoking, and
staying up to date on vaccinations, say Texas physicians in TMA’s Healthy Vision 2020.
There’s work to be done: Nearly one-third (31.9 percent) of Texas adults are
obese, making it the 11th most obese state in the nation, according to The State of Obesity: Better
Policies for a Healthier America. And obesity rates are highest in adults
aged 40-59 years, according to the National Health Interview Survey. Obesity and being overweight can contribute to a host of health
problems, including diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and stroke.
Adults are urged to get 150 minutes of moderate exercise weekly,
plus some muscle-strengthening activities.
If someone hasn’t been active, walking is a great way to start
improving health, said Dr. DePagter. Then he or she can work up to longer, and
possibly more intense, activity. But she added it’s wise to talk with the doctor
before beginning any physical activity.
Quitting tobacco also can have an immediate
positive impact on a person’s health. No matter the person’s age and what form
of tobacco used — cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco, or e-cigarettes —
quitting has benefits. Texas has a 10 percent higher-than-average rate of death
attributable to smoking, or 273 deaths per 100,000.
Staying up to date with vaccinations is another way to prevent illness and
possible death. Even if a man had all recommended shots as a child, Dr.
DePagter says men need several as an adult. For example:
yearly flu shot is recommended for everyone six months of age and older.
Depending on age, a man might need a tetanus booster to protect from cuts and
(or whooping cough) boosters protect both a father and mother and their baby.
- A Zoster
vaccination protects anyone against shingles.
TMA has an adult vaccination chart and an adult vaccination fact sheet to help patients see what
shots they need based on their age. Men should check with their doctor to make
sure they are up-to-date on all their shots.
“On Father’s Day, we celebrate the strong men who have made
a difference in our families and in our lives,” said Dr. DePagter. “It’s up to
every man to take control of his health so he can be part of this day for years
TMA is the largest state medical society in the nation,
representing more than 49,000 physician and medical student members. It is
located in Austin and has 110 component county medical societies around the
state. TMA’s key objective since 1853 is to improve the health of all Texans.
TMA actively works to
improve immunization rates in Texas through its
Be Wise — ImmunizeSM program. Be Wise works with local communities
to give free and low-cost shots to Texans and educate people about the
importance of vaccination. More than 300,000 shots have been given to Texas
children, adolescents, and adults through the Be Wise program since 2004. It is funded by TMA Foundation, TMA's philanthropic arm, thanks to major gifts from H-E-B and TMF Health Quality Institute, along with generous contributions from physicians and their families.
Be Wise — Immunize is a service mark of the Texas Medical Association.
Contact: Brent Annear (512) 370-1381; cell: (512) 656-7320; email: brent.annear[at]texmed[dot]org
Marcus Cooper (512) 370-1382; cell: (512)
650-5336; email: marcus.cooper[at]texmed[dot]org
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