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For Release:  May 27, 2010
Contact:  Pamela Williams
Office of Communications
405-271-5601

Oklahoma Men Called to Focus on Cardiovascular and Reproductive Health
Celebrate Men’s Health Month, June 2010

The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) is celebrating National Men’s Health Month, June 2010. The theme, “Stay Tough! Stay Healthy!” helps call attention to the importance of men’s health.

“We want to encourage men to make their health a top priority. Men are more likely than women to be uninsured or underinsured,” said State Health Commissioner Dr. Terry Cline. “Men need to visit their doctor and make sure their health screenings, routine tests and immunizations are up-to-date.”

Men often forget that preventative healthcare such as testicular self-exams, prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood tests, colorectal cancer screenings, cholesterol and blood sugar checks are an important part of staying healthy. When a man is healthy, he reduces his likelihood of illness, injuries and depression, and he has lower absenteeism at work and may have reduced healthcare costs.  

Oklahoma is ranked 47th worst in the nation for cardiovascular disease death rates among men (386.4 deaths per 100,000).  Over one in four Oklahoma men who die from heart disease will die before age 65. Stroke is also a primary health issue for Oklahoma men, with one in five deaths from stroke occurring before age 65.

Risk factors associated with these high rates of cardiovascular disease and stroke in Oklahoma include tobacco use, obesity, and physical inactivity. 

Another important men’s health issue is reproductive health for men.  More than half of the live births in Oklahoma are reported as unintended pregnancies.  Effective family planning is crucial to reduce this high percentage.

Men’s Health Month events can be held in various settings, such as businesses, faith-based organizations, schools, health clinics and recreation centers. Possible events may include:

  • “Wear Blue Days” to promote men’s health
  • A stair climbing or walking challenge
  • Hosting a lunch-n-learn series
  • Collecting pennies to donate to a men’s health or fatherhood organization

County health departments, Turning Point, and other community organizations have planned numerous activities in observance of National Men’s Health Month. Individuals are encouraged to contact their county health department to learn more about local events.

A toolbox for community organizations interested in planning an event for National Men’s Health Month is available on the OSDH Web site at http://mchs.health.ok.gov. Click on the “Perinatal and Reproductive Health” and then the “Men’s Health” links in the left navigation column.  

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