Celebrate National Men's Health Week!

The Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio salutes National Men’s Health Week, June 13-20. As the country prepares to honor dads this weekend for Father’s Day, we think it is fitting to encourage fathers to monitor and take proactive steps towards better wellbeing so that they are celebrated for many more Father’s Days in the future.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, African American men, compared to Caucasians, are at higher risk for certain chronic illnesses, including heart diseases, stroke, cancer, asthma, influenza and pneumonia, diabetes, and HIV/AIDS.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has determined that African American men are more likely to die at earlier ages from all causes of mortality because young African Americans are living with diseases that typically affect other races at older ages.

For instance, high blood pressure among people aged 18 – 34 years is common in 12% vs. 10% of blacks vs. whites. Among those aged 35-49 years, it is common in 33% vs. 22% of blacks vs. whites, respectively.

In the 35- 49-year-old age group, diagnoses of diabetes are even more striking, at nearly a nearly two-to-one ratio, with risk among African Americans at 10% compared to 6% of Caucasians. Stroke is also alarming. In the 18 – 34 age group the rate is 0.7% for African Americans compared to 0.4% for Caucasians. Respectively, among 35 – 49-year-olds, it is 2% for African Americans compared to 1% Caucasian, and 7% vs. 4%, respectively, among those aged 50-64.

The CDC reports that social factors affect the health of African Americans at younger ages, including unemployment, poverty, renting vs. owning a home, prohibitive costs when seeking medical care, smoking, sedentary lifestyles, and obesity.

Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio encourages all current and future dads to make the right choices of diet, exercise, and medical monitoring to enjoy abundant good health and longevity. Happy Father’s Day!

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