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Join Atrium Health Navicent in Observing Men’s Health Month

Men have a higher risk than women for heart disease, cancer and unintentional injury deaths

In addition to celebrating fathers and father figures this June, Atrium Health Navicent invites the community to observe Men’s Health Month, a time when men are encouraged to make their health a priority and complete prescribed health screenings.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), men in the U.S. on average die five years earlier than women, and die at higher rates from heart disease, cancer and unintentional injuries.

Even though going to the doctor isn’t something most men look forward to, many of the major health risks men face can be prevented and treated with early diagnosis. If you’ve delayed yearly screenings or doctor visits due to the COVID-19 pandemic or for any other reason, now is the time to get back on track. Having regular check-ups with a primary care physician and following up on prescribed screenings can help catch potential problems early when they’re easier to treat.

Be sure to tell your doctor if you have a family history of high blood pressure, heart disease, prostate cancer or colon cancer. Your family history may affect when you get screened for those diseases. Also talk to your doctor about any new feelings of anxiety or depression, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s important for men of all ages to prioritize their health and regularly visit a primary care physician,” said Dr. Hugh McLaurin, a family medicine physician at Atrium Health Navicent Primary Care West Macon. “If you’re overdue for a wellvisit or prescribed screening, use this month as a reminder to schedule an appointment, and while making plans to celebrate the fathers and father figures in your life, remind them to do the same.”

Men and boys can also take steps to improve their health such as:

• Eat healthy: Healthy food choices help reduce heart-disease risk. Choose foods low in saturated fat, trans fat and sodium. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, fiber-rich whole grains, fish, nuts, legumes and seeds. Limit sugar-sweetened beverages and red meat.

• Be physically active: Even 30 minutes each day can help you live longer and healthier. Set a goal to get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week, like brisk walking, or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity aerobic activity every week, like jogging.

• Learn heart attack warning signs: Knowing when you’re having a heart attack or stroke means you’re more likely to get immediate help. Quick treatment can save your life.

• Don’t smoke and avoid secondhand smoke: Smoking increases your risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke and erectile dysfunction. It’s never too late to quit smoking. Even exposure to secondhand smoke poses a serious health hazard.

• Get vaccinated against COVID-19: The COVID-19 pandemic has led to devastating health outcomes across the world. There is abundant evidence that COVID-19 can have an overall impact on men’s health, and possibly lead to lower testosterone levels and an increased risk for erectile disfunction.

To find a doctor, visit www.NavicentHealth.org and click “Find A Doctor.”

About Atrium Health Navicent

Atrium Health Navicent is the leading provider of healthcare in central and south Georgia and is committed to its mission of elevating health and wellbeing through compassionate care. Atrium Health Navicent provides high-quality, personalized care in 53 specialties at more than 50 facilitiesthroughout the region. As part of the largest, integrated, nonprofit health system in the Southeast, it is also able to tap into some of the nation’s leading medical experts and specialists with Atrium Health, allowing it to provide the best care close to home – including advanced innovations in virtual medicine and care. Throughout its 125-year history in the community, Atrium Health Navicent has remained dedicated to enhancing health and wellness for individuals throughout the region through nationally recognized quality care, community health initiatives and collaborative partnerships. It is also one of the leading teaching hospitals in the region, helping to ensure viability for rural health care for the next generation. For more information, please visit www.NavicentHealth.org