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Healthy, wealthy, wise

Agriculture.com Staff 07/06/2010 @ 5:02pm

Hey, guys, listen up! I know you're out there because I have heard from men who read this page. This issue's column is aimed at you.

Your wife can read it, too, but she's all too familiar with the findings of a 2007 survey by the American Academy of Family Physicians.

"One of the biggest obstacles to improving men's health is men," says Rick Kellerman, AAFP. "They don't make health a priority."

Consider these survey findings:

  • More than half (55%) of men haven't seen a primary care physician for an exam in the past year.
  • Four in 10 (42%) have been diagnosed with at least one of the following: high blood pressure, heart disease, arthritis, or diabetes.
  • About one in five men 65 years and older hasn't been screened for colon cancer.
  • More than one out of four say they wait "as long as possible" before seeking help when they're sick, in pain, or concerned about health.

Despite this, almost 79% say they're in excellent or good health. How do they know?

Men make half as many visits to health care providers as women do. Men's higher mortality rate from heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes may stem from delayed care.

Screening tests can offer an early warning. Kansas State Extension specialists Mary Meck Higgins and Kimberly Shafter highlight six concerns in Men's Health: A Guide to Living Long, Strong and Well:

1. Osteoporosis
2. Prostate cancer
3. Colon and rectal cancer
4. Depression
5. Arthritis
6. Joint problems

Have you seen the recent public service ads aimed at men over age 50? The message encourages them to seek care so they'll be there for their families. See the ads here.

Real men don't put farm machinery maintenance ahead of maintaining their health. Iowa farmer-poet James Hearst says it best:

My father's care

The binder glittered in the sun,
Its new paint fed our hungry eyes,
The servant hid beneath the lies --
My father was the honest one.

He sat high up upon the seat
And rode the binder, saw it thrust
Its sickle teeth through clouds of dust
To cut and bind the field of wheat.

It was a noisy tireless thing
That mocked the frailty of our flesh,
Though chains would break and cogs unmesh
My father ruled it like a king.

He always kept it in a shed
To save it from the rusty touch
Of time; he would not do as much
To save himself, I wish he had.

Hey, guys, listen up! I know you're out there because I have heard from men who read this page. This issue's column is aimed at you.

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