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Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-6660; fax (319) 335-8034

Release: Immediate

National Men's Health Week is June 9-15

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Men often ignore their health.

Most men know the facts about everything from sports to financial management, but few are as knowledgeable or care as much about the health issues that face them. A recent survey conducted by Men's Health magazine and CNN revealed that more than 9 million men have not seen a doctor for a health check in the past five years. In fact, women visit doctors almost four times as often as men, according to the National Men's Health Foundation.

"Many men only come to see their primary care physician when they feel something is wrong. As a result, many men don't periodically check their blood pressure or serum cholesterol. Women, in comparison, seem much more attuned to preventive health care," said Dr. George Bergus, University of Iowa associate professor of family medicine.

A number of men don't answer these questions correctly:

What health threat is the biggest killer of men in the United States?

a. lung cancer

b. cardiovascular disease

c. auto accidents

Answer: Cardiovascular disease. In a recent year, 447,233 men died from heart disease; 95,808 from lung cancer and 28,635 from auto accidents.

As a man, what nutrient should make up the bulk of your diet?

a. fat

b. protein

c. carbohydrate

Answer: Carbohydrate. The average man should get a minimum of 60 percent of his daily calories from carbohydrate, no fewer than 10 percent from protein and no more than 30 percent from fat.

As a man, which diseases do you need to worry about getting?

a. breast cancer

b. osteoporosis

c. cystitis

All of them. Though not as common among men as women, all of these conditions can threaten a man's health.

If you exercise regularly, how much water should you be drinking every day?

a. 4 to 6 glasses

b. 6 to 8 glasses

c. 10 to 11 glasses

Answer: Ten to 11 glasses. If you exercise regularly you'll need at least two to three more glasses than the recommended eight per day if you plan on improving your performance in the gym. Sports nutritionists say that even mild dehydration can leave you weak and cut into your gains.

According to the National Men's Health Foundation, the life expectancy of men continues to be an average of seven years less than women, despite advances in medical technology and research. The foundation also reports that almost four times as many men as women suffer heart attacks before the age of 65, and 27 percent of men will die within one year after having a heart attack.

The goal of National Men's Health Week, June 9 through 15, is to make men more knowledgeable about their health and aware of the importance of taking preventive health measures to increase the likelihood of longer, healthier lives.

This year, the American Academy of Family Physicians is joining the National Men's Health Foundation to provide a nationwide educational campaign to make men and their families aware of the importance of early detection and treatment of common male health problems such as prostate cancer, heart disease and testicular cancer.

"Much preventive health care is not high tech medicine, but it is still very important and prevents future health problems. Besides checking your blood pressure, weight and cholesterol, most of us benefit from periodically reviewing our diet and exercise program with our physicians. I remain convinced that many health problems are preventable by living a healthy lifestyle while we are still in good health," Bergus says.

For more information on preventive medicine, the family physician and men's health people may contact Bergus at 335-8456.

For more information on National Men's Health Week, contact Patrick Taylor, (610) 967-8621, or visit their Web page at

Men's Maintenance Manual is a free booklet that focuses on healthy living for men offered by the National Men's Health Foundation. To receive a copy, call 1-800-955-2002, or send a postcard with your name and address to: "Men's Maintenance Manual," c/o 14 E. Minor St., Emmaus, Pa.

Note to editors: a fact sheet on men's health and multiple choice questions are available. If interested, call L.E. Ohman at 335-6660.