Koczor: A focus on men’s health

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June is Men’s Health Month, a national observance which began in 1994 to raise awareness about health care for men and encourage boys, men and their families to practice and implement healthy living decisions.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States die five years earlier than women, on average, and die at higher rates from the three leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer and unintentional injuries.

It is important for men to be aware of preventable risks. Make a commitment to have a health checkup. Overall good health relies on screenings and other evaluations with health care providers. Schedule routine tests for early detection of disease. Document your family history with your physician.

Men’s Health Month was created by the Men’s Health Network, a non-profit organization founded in 1992 to raise awareness about the importance of male health and to encourage men to live longer and healthier lives. Wear BLUE Day will be celebrated June 18 to highlight those efforts.

During the month of June consider taking the first steps to improve your health. Make healthy food choices and stay active. If you smoke, think about quitting. Take care of your mental health.

Keep in mind how important you are to so many — family, loved ones, friends, colleagues. So, if not for yourself, do it for them. The decisions you make about your health and wellbeing also affect them.

Joan Koczor is a senior advocate and a member of the Age-Friendly Maricopa Advisory Board.

This column was first published in the June edition of InMaricopa magazine.