Just as preventative maintenance is important for our vehicles, bikes and skis – regular check-ups and age-appropriate prevention screenings are key to staying healthy, preventing disease and avoiding costly health complications later in life.
Research has shown that men die at higher rates for 9 of the top 10 causes of death, including heart disease, cancer, diabetes and suicide. Because men are more likely to have poor health habits, and less likely to seek regular medical attention, men are dying about five years sooner than women are.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. According to Men’s Health Network, more than half of premature deaths among men are preventable. Men can live longer and healthier by getting regular medical checkups.
June is Men’s Health Month, designated to heighten awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys.
Important factors influencing men’s health include a lack of health insurance and too few visits to medical providers for check ups and health screenings.
Financial limitations do not have to be a barrier to good health. Northwest Colorado Health’s Community Health Centers in Steamboat Springs and Craig offer the following preventative health services benefitting men. Services are offered on a sliding fee scale based on income and are available in English and Spanish.
- Physical exams. Review your overall health status and discuss your concerns with a medical provider. Men 39 and younger should get a physical exam every two to three years; men 40 to 49 every two years; and men 50 and older should get annual physical exams. Your provider will also discuss your risk and screening options for common cancers, such as prostate, skin and colon cancer, which have a greater chance of successful treatment when found early.
- Cardiovascular and diabetes screenings. Cardiovascular screenings involve a blood pressure check and simple finger prick, which should be done yearly regardless of age. Within 20 minutes, patients learn their cholesterol panel – LDL (“bad” cholesterol), HDL (“good” cholesterol) and triglyceride levels. The test also reveals a person’s blood glucose level, a good indicator of diabetes risk. Follow-up sessions are available to create a personalized health improvement plan to help assist with small changes that can have a big impact on overall health. This service is available at no cost. To make an appointment, call 970-871-7692 in Craig or 970-871-7694 in Steamboat Springs.
- HIV and STI testing. Testing for STIs, including HIV, gonorrhea, syphilis and herpes simplex virus (HSV) is available on a sliding fee scale for uninsured patients. Individuals of all ages can make a confidential appointment with one of our health care providers to discuss sexual health and family planning.
- Integrated Behavioral Health support. Physical and emotional health are connected and our thoughts, feelings and actions can affect our physical health. Our Behavioral Health providers help patients struggling with chronic medical conditions, stress, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, sleeping problems and weight management.
Take control of your health. Make an appointment for any of the above services by calling Northwest Colorado Health at 970-824-8233 in Craig or 970-879-1632 in Steamboat Springs. Visit northwestcoloradohealth.org for more information.
This article includes information from the Men’s Health Network, www.menshealthnetwork.org.