Advocacy, Public Policy

Men’s Health Takes Center Stage at the White House

Those of us who work in men’s health are no strangers to frustration. Despite years of effort, men still die in greater numbers (and at younger ages) then women of nine of the top ten causes of death. And men’s health issues get a fraction of the public and private funding and the media attention that women’s health issues do. But there is hope—and 2016 might just be a breakout year, thanks to some very public recognition of men’s health by the White House.

In 2012, Men’s Health Network launched the Dialogue on Men’s Health series, which regularly brings together healthcare professionals, patient groups, community organizations, private corporations, and government agencies to address the unique challenges that confront men, boys, and their families. So you can imagine how delighted we were when the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) asked MHN to help organize a Dialogue on Men’s Health event at the White House January 8, 2016. The goal of the White House event—and of all of the Dialogues—was to inspire, engage, motivate, and activate the private- and public sectors to make men’s health a priority. A lofty goal, but one that was achieved with remarkable success.

tamh - WH main speakersThe White House location and the opening speakers (including Assistant to the President and Cabinet Secretary Broderick Johnson, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, White House Director of National Drug Control Policy, Michael Botticelli, and Kenneth Braswell, the Director of National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse) left no doubt that the Administration is serious about the health of men and boys.

tamh - WH speakersTwenty eight speakers captivated the audience of more than 230 people, representing more than 100 organizations from all across the country, sharing personal stories, best practices, and recommendations. That alone was a huge win. But there’s more: each participant was asked to make a commitment to a specific action he or she will take to bring awareness to—and improve—boys’ and men’s health.

 

Although it’s still early, we’re hoping to have a follow-up Dialogue in June, which is Men’s Health Month.

Click here for more information on the White House Dialogue on Men’s Health—including photos, a complete lineup of speakers and attendees, and video of selected speakers.

And click here for more info on the complete Dialogue on Men’s Heath series.

 

 

 

Lifestyle

Dear Men… Don’t Be Gross

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

So… I love me some men. I have clearly expressed this in various articles (see here), but what I cannot and I mean I cannot stand, is a man that has these two things…

1. Dirty beard

Don’t get me wrong, I’m #beardgang all day – trust! However, when I see a man with an awesome beard sprinkled with food remains, dandruff and other things that honestly get my skin crawling; I can’t run away fast enough. What’s living in there? Seriously! I know that #beardgang is what is A La Mode! (fashionable) but goodness me, please spare me the torture of having to guess whether a creature is living in that bush! I honestly love a well kept beard but boy one of my biggest turn offs is a man that cannot control it.

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Fertility, Health, Sex

Don’t Stop Asking Why

Res ipsa loquitur (the thing speaks for itself; Courtesy: www.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk)

Res ipsa loquitur (the thing speaks for itself; Courtesy: www.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk)

I’ve been called a “disruptor” before, but I’ve never considered myself a “visionary.” To my surprise, I was recently called just that, and by colleagues about whom I might use the same term. Quite flattering, really.

Meeting of Minds

We met just outside of Washington, at the invitation of the NIH and CDC, to discuss what’s known about how one’s fertility status might correlate to current and future health. I was told that this think tank was partly inspired by our work showing that infertile men have higher cancer rates later in life. I remember attending NIH meetings in 2009 and 2011, soon after these results were published, and letting fly with the idea that infertility could be a “window” into men’s health. Back then, I saw it as a golden opportunity to take earlier, better and more informed care of men.

Since then, other studies have confirmed our findings, and some have even gone beyond that to suggest that infertile men are actually less healthy than fertile men, and that infertile men may not live as long as fertile men. Still others have shown that the same may be true for infertile women. Breaker one-nine, we got us a convoy!

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Health, Nutrition, Others

Treating Kidney StonesTreating Kidney Stones

Kidney_stone_01Chances are you or someone you know has had a kidney stone at some point in their life; they are very common, affecting approximately one in ten people throughout their lifetime. The risk of kidney stones is higher in the United States than the rest of the world and this number has only been increasing over the past two to three decades.

Kidney stones are small, hard deposits, typically composed of mineral and acid salts that form inside your kidneys. As one might expect, because urine is a vehicle for waste excretion, it is comprised of numerous chemicals and wastes. When the urine is too concentrated, that is too little liquid and too much waste, crystals will begin to form. Over time, these crystals can join together and form a larger stone-like solid.

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Cardio, Diabetes, Health, Nutrition, Others

Top Chronic Diseases Men Should be Aware OfTop Chronic Diseases Men Should be Aware Of

drinkAlthough the gap has definitely decreased, women still live an average of 5 years longer than men do. And although both men and women are affected by chronic illness, men tend to smoke and drink more than women increasing their risk of many diseases. To top it off, men are also much less diligent about getting preventative care and seeking medical attention. Chronic disease can affect quality of life and increase the risk of other health problems, here are some of the top chronic disease affecting men:

1. Heart Disease: cardiovascular disease refers to a group of diseases that affect the heart.

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Health, Lifestyle, Nutrition, Sex, Sports

Should Athletes Abstain from Sex Before the Big Game?Should Athletes Abstain from Sex Before the Big Game?

CapturePregame rituals are just as much a part of athletics as strength and conditioning. One such pregame ritual stopped me in my tracks. The New York Times article, “No, Sex Please. I Have a Game Tomorrow” was published after Seattle Seahawks Quarterback; Russell Wilson declared he would remain celibate during the 2015 NFL season. The theory is that athletes channel their aggression to be effective on the field, and sex drains some of that energy making them weaker. I agree sex drains energy, but I disagree that it’s always weakens an athletes game. In fact, according to Chinese medicine it can be beneficial for some athletes.

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