Editorials, Health, Health

When it Comes to Minorities, Improving Men’s Health Improves the Health of the Whole Community

With the launch of President Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative in 2014, many of the issues facing young African American men suddenly hit the front pages. However, there has been an unfortunate tendency to look at African American men’s health issues as narrowly affecting only that particular group. The reality is quite different. Health problems affecting African-American men may also have a profound impact on health outcomes for African-American women and children. Consequently, it is critical that healthcare professionals—and society as a whole—start paying more attention to minority men’s health.

Why it Matters

In 2010, U.S. Census Bureau reported that life expectancy at birth for white females was 81.3 years and for black females, 78 years. For males, however, life expectancy was 76.5 years for whites, 71.8 years for blacks. Those numbers vary greatly by region. In Fulton County Georgia, for example, which comprises most of the city of Atlanta where I life and work, the average African American male life expectancy remains below 65 years—too young to collect social security. According to the Fulton County Department of Health and Wellness, African American males constituted only 24% of the population but 42% of all premature deaths and 50% of all years of potential life lost.
Nine of the ten leading causes of death (as defined by CDC) affect men more than women. Eight of those ten affect African Americans more than whites. African American men as a group are at extraordinarily high risk of illness and death. That impacts the African-American community at many levels, and limits the overall potential for health in the African American community.

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Family, Fatherhood, Health, Masculinity, Parenting, Sex

Don’t Get Older If You Can Help It

It’s called “mutational load.” Doesn’t sound all that pleasant does it? And, it’s ascribed mainly to men. Now, in addition to mid-life crises and retirement, it’s something new to think about as you age.

Boning up for my keynote speech on “The Reproductive Genetics of the Aging Male” for the American Society of Andrology this weekend, the drama of genetics, evolution and older fathers played out in my mind. Yes, the human male, my friends, is themain generator of mutations that drives our evolution. And the sheer number of mutations, that is the “load,” increases dramatically as men age. Imagine leaving a job so important for our continued success as a species almost entirely up to men!

No Bad Sperm

Over the past 20 years, my experience as a male fertility specialist has led me to believe that sperm are… well…sperm! Seeing so many healthy babies being born out of so many extreme fertility situations has taught me to trust the “quality control” mechanisms that exist to ensure that healthy sperm lead to healthy babies. Here are some of these situations: Continue Reading

Fitness, Well-being

Stay Active, Stay Healthy: 5 Easy-to-Begin Hobbies to Keep You Moving

Magazines have told you, your doctor has told you, your kids have told you: you have to stay active to stay healthy. But you’d much rather just kick back and watch the baseball game than get your heart beating. As we age, we have to watch out for everything from diabetes to osteoporosis, and an active and healthy lifestyle helps to ward off those and a whole host of other health issues. Whether you’re doing it for yourself, or to be a good example for your kids, grab your water bottle and try out these activities. You might even convince your family to join you.

Walk

stay active stay healthyYou’ve been taking your dog around the block for years, but have you ventured much farther? Find a local park or public high-school track, or explore your neighborhood. MapMyWalk.com lets you map out where you want to go. It’ll log your routes and miles, so if you find a particularly scenic route, you can remember it for next time.

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Education, Health, Lifestyle, Masculinity, Other Cancers, Prostate, Sex, testosterone, Well-being

7 Reasons Your PSA May Be Elevated

  • Prostate cancer

An elevated PSA could indicate prostate cancer. If you have an elevated PSA, your doctor will also do a digital rectal exam to see if there are any suspicious lumps present on the prostate gland. If they suspect prostate cancer, a prostate biopsy will be recommended. It’s also important to monitor any changes in the PSA; if the PSA continues to rise, this may mean prostate cancer. If you continue to have an elevated PSA, but your biopsy is negative, your doctor will most likely recommend follow-up PSA tests and a follow-up biopsy within six months.

Angler Beach Coast

Angler Beach Coast

  • Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)

BPH also means an enlarged prostate gland. This does not mean prostate cancer. BPH is the most common prostate condition men over 50 suffer from. It can often cause urination problems such as frequent urination or difficulty urinating.

  • Urinary tract infection

A urinary tract infection can cause irritation and inflammation in the prostate gland, which can cause the PSA to go up. If you have a UTI, a doctor will prescribe antibiotics to treat it. The PSA should go back to normal after the infection has gone away so make sure to wait until then to have a PSA test. Men with an enlarged prostate have a higher risk for urinary tract infections. Continue Reading

Cardio, Editorials

The Beat Goes On and On and On

An electrical engineer at Stanford University has devised a way to wirelessly transfer energy deep inside the body where it can be used “to run tiny electronic medical gadgets such as pacemakers, nerve stimulators or new sensors and devices yet to be developed,” according to a University press release. The goal is to create “electroceuticals,” which could be used as alternatives to more traditional drug therapies. “We need to make these devices as small as possible to more easily implant them deep in the body and create new ways to treat illness and alleviate pain,” said Ada Poon, an assistant professor of electrical engineering,

candle-fire-flame-1095

One of the first devices produced by Poon and her team is a pacemaker that’s about the size of a grain of rice. They device is implanted in the patient (in this case, a rabbit), and can be recharged “wirelessly by holding a power source about the size of a credit card above the device, outside the body.” The charger uses about the same amount of power as a cell phone and, says Poon, is well within the range of what’s considered safe for humans. Some experts speculate that electroceuticals could be safer and more effective than drugs because they can deliver treatment directly to very specific areas in the brain and the rest of the body. Drugs, on the other hand, tend to affect the whole body.

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