June is Men's Health Month

June is Men’s Health Month. Photo by Men’s Health Network

Men in the United States live 5 years fewer than women, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The startling figure — along with recent school shootings by U.S. males in Washington and Oregon — highlights the importance of Men’s Health Month, hosted every June since 1994 by the Men’s Health Network to “heighten the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys.”

Intentional violence, including homicide and suicide, are among the top causes of death for U.S. males. Data indicate that:

  • the U.S. homicide rate for males was 3.6 times higher than the homicide rate for females from 1992 to 2011; and
  • males commit 79 percent of U.S. suicides, according to CDC.

“Death is inevitable but premature death through homicide is not. We know that violence is preventable and it’s imperative that we employ effective public health strategies to thwart these untimely deaths,” said Mighty Fine, deputy director of APHA’s Center for Professional Development.

Young males aged 18-34 are disproportionately involved in homicide crimes, even those not involving drug trading or gang activity. Additionally the Office on Women’s Health reports that while women attempt suicide more often, men are more likely to die from attempts because of higher usage of deadly weapons.

While men are disproportionately harmed by homicide and suicide, gun violence is a nationwide priority. APHA’s gun violence fact sheet lists important steps in preventing gun violence such as “on-site mental health services, including through school-based health centers, a common-sense approach to ensure that children and youth are able to access appropriate treatment and services.”

Visit Men’s Health Month online for tips to support men’s health and tune in for a Twitter chat today at 1 p.m. EDT, “I am My Brother’s Keeper: Strategies for Prioritizing the Health and Well-being of Boys and Men of Color,” using the hashtags #MBKhealth, #BMOChealth and #MensHealthMonth to join the conversation.