There’s never a wrong time to prioritize health, but Men’s Health Week – June 13-19, 2016 – offers a perfect opportunity to focus on critical issues of prevention and education.
New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), published on June 1, show a slight rise in death rates in the U.S., the first increase in years. For men in the United States, heart disease remains the top cause of death, with high blood pressure (also called hypertension) a major risk factor.
We’ve written a lot about blood pressure on our blog, from an Introduction to Blood Pressure to news about the value of monitoring your blood pressure at home. It’s a key vital sign and typically first diagnostic measurement a doctor or nurse will take when you’re in for a visit.
Regular and accurate blood pressure measurements are important because hypertension is often a “silent killer,” meaning those suffering from the condition often exhibit no other visible symptoms. Some have speculated that there are subtle symptoms (things like headaches, nosebleeds, and dizziness), but more current research has shown these factors to be inconclusive or unreliable. “If you ignore your blood pressure because you think symptoms will alert you to the problem, you are taking a dangerous chance with your life,” according to the American Heart Association. (For more information, see Don’t Fall for the Symptoms Myth on the AHA website.)
Managing blood pressure is, of course, just one piece of the prevention puzzle. The CDC also advises men to keep track of other important numbers, like blood glucose levels, cholesterol, and body mass index. And because hypertension isn’t the only symptomless conditions, regular checkups continue to be essential.
“Celebrate National Men’s Health Week, June 13-19, 2016,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
“Vital Statistics Rapid Release,” National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
“June is Men’s Health Month,” Men’s Health Network
“National Hypertension Education Month,” ADC Blog