Since 1994, the week leading up to Father’s Day has been officially recognized as Men’s Health Week. This advocacy campaign, hosted by Men’s Health Network, promotes men’s health improvement measures during the entire month of June. During Men’s Health Week and throughout the month, men in the United States are encouraged to schedule appointments with their primary care physician (PCP), get more exercise, get screened for prostate health, eat healthy foods, and consider prevention as a way of life.
Outreach conducted by local and national groups focuses on disseminating statistics to bolster awareness related to men’s health. For example, according to Men’s Health Month, women are 100% more likely than men to seek out an annual visit to their PCP. Data from Health.gov show that men live shorter lives, die at higher rates from the top 10 causes of death in the U.S., and are less likely to have health insurance. According to the Men’s Health Network, men are much more likely than women to die by homicide with some variation by race (1 in 30 for black males versus 1 in 132 for black females; 1 in 179 for white males versus 1 in 495 for white females). Equally alarming is the risk for suicide among men. In 2015, the CDC reportedthat men are four times more likely to commit suicide than women and that the rate of suicide among men 65 and over is 31.5% compared to 5% for women.
In honor of Men’s Health Week, HealthLandscape has added some exciting new county-level data related to men’s health to the Community HealthView data library. From the National Cancer Institute, we’ve added three datasets describing annual prostate cancer incidence, average prostate cancer cases per year, and prostate cancer incidence five-year trends from 2010 to 2014. From the U.S. Census American Community Survey, users can turn on a layer showing the percent of the population that are male for 2011-2015. Lastly, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Diabetes Surveillance System, we’ve added measures on diabetes and obesity prevalence among men, as well as the percentage of physical inactivity among men. All three of these measures are from 2015, the most recent year for which data are available.
During Men’s Health Week and beyond, advocacy groups like the Men’s Health Network and local and state health departments can use tools like HealthLandscape’s Community HealthView to explore data on men’s health, identify geographic variation or overlap, and/or target resources to improve men’s health.
GIS Strategist, HealthLandscape