LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 13 marks the start of National Men’s Health Week which, appropriately, ends on Father’s Day. In support of Men's Health Week – which is coordinated by the Men’s Health Network (http://www.menshealthnetwork.org) and is designed to increase awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men – Health Net, Inc. (NYSE:HNT) is sharing information about screening tests that men shouldn’t ignore.
“There are still significant statistical gaps between men and women in relation to health issues,” notes Jonathan Scheff, M.D., chief medical officer for Health Net, Inc. For example, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, men die at higher rates than women from the top 10 causes of death. Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that men, on average, die almost six years earlier than women.
Screenings are a smart step toward better health
Scheff points to health screenings as a smart step toward maximizing good health. “Early detection can be key to overcoming many diseases and conditions,” says Scheff, “and health screenings often help to serve as a bridge to early detection.” Toward that end, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality provides the following overview of screenings that men should discuss with their health care providers:
- Abdominal aortic aneurysm—If you are between the ages of 65 and 75 and have ever been a smoker, ask your doctor about getting screened for an abdominal aortic aneurysm; this is an abnormally large or swollen blood vessel in the stomach that can burst without warning;
- Colorectal cancer—Have a screening test for colorectal cancer starting at age 50. If you have a family history of colorectal cancer, you may need to be screened earlier;
- Depression—If you have felt “down” or hopeless during the past two weeks, or you’ve had little interest in activities that you usually enjoy, talk to your doctor about depression;
- Diabetes—Get screened for diabetes if your blood pressure is higher than 135/80, or if you take medication for high blood pressure;
- High blood pressure—Starting at age 18, have your blood pressure checked at least every two years. High blood pressure is 140/90 or higher;
- High cholesterol—Once you turn 35, have your cholesterol checked regularly. Cholesterol checks should start at age 20 if you have diabetes, history of heart disease, tobacco use, high blood pressure, or a body mass index of 30 or higher;
- Sexually transmitted diseases—Talk with your doctor to determine if you should be tested for gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia or other sexually transmitted diseases.
Steps beyond screenings
In addition to health screenings, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality also recommends that men:
- Eat a healthy diet;
- Be physically active;
- Stay at a healthy weight;
- Drink alcohol in moderation or not at all;
- Don’t smoke.
About Health Net
Health Net, Inc. is a publicly traded managed care organization that delivers managed health care services through health plans and government-sponsored managed care plans. Its mission is to help people be healthy, secure and comfortable. The company provides health benefits to approximately 6.0 million individuals across the country through group, individual, Medicare (including the Medicare prescription drug benefit commonly referred to as “Part D”), Medicaid, Department of Defense, including TRICARE, and Veterans Affairs programs. Health Net’s behavioral health services subsidiary, Managed Health Network, Inc., provides behavioral health, substance abuse and employee assistance programs to approximately 5.1 million individuals, including Health Net’s own health plan members. The company’s subsidiaries also offer managed health care products related to prescription drugs, and offer managed health care product coordination for multi-region employers and administrative services for medical groups and self-funded benefits programs.
For more information on Health Net, Inc., please visit the company’s website at www.healthnet.com.