News from the Somerset County Board of County Commissioners

Shanel Y. Robinson, Commissioner Director Ÿ Doug Singleterry, Commissioner Deputy Director

Sara Sooy, Commissioner Ÿ Melonie Marano, Commissioner Ÿ Paul Drake, Commissioner



June 26, 2023

Somerset County Encourages Men to Take Healthy Steps During National Men’s Health Month

SOMERVILLE, NJ – Somerset County’s Department of Health is encouraging male residents to take charge of their health during National Men’s Health Month this June by making an appointment with a healthcare provider for an annual routine check-up. This is an important part of monitoring existing conditions and catching other conditions in the early stages, when they are easier to treat.

“At a time when American men are living on average six years less than American women it is vitally important that men take steps to prevent and treat health issues that can shorten our lives and take us away from our loved ones,” said Commissioner Deputy Director Doug Singleterry, liaison to the Somerset County Department of Health. “I know from personal experience it’s sometimes hard to get to the doctor between work, family, and community activities but it is vital that we make the time so we can be there for our families as long as possible.”

The CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) reports that in 2021 the life expectancy at birth for women was 79.1 years and 73.1 years for men, a six-year difference. While the pandemic is partially responsible for this difference, there has also been an increase in deaths from accidental/ unintentional injury (almost half of which are attributed to overdose deaths). Heart disease, chronic liver disease and cirrhosis, and suicide also led to this disparity.

A primary reason for the higher death rates and lower life expectancy among men than women is due to risk-taking behaviors and suicide in the 15-24 age group. In addition, a higher percentage of men than women are without healthcare coverage, about half as many men visit physicians for prevention than women, and men may have more employment in dangerous occupations.

Men can take steps to lengthen their personal life expectancy by simply visiting their doctor once a year. An annual routine check-up has many benefits, including chronic disease detection, monitoring, or improving conditions that can lead to more serious diseases (e.g., blood pressure), and managing preventive care (e.g., screenings, vaccines). These regular doctor visits also help to build trust between physicians and patients which is important when sudden health issues arise.

Such health issues include many forms of cancer, including highly prevalent lung cancers, which took the lives of 42% more American men than women in 2019. When detected early, lung cancer can often be treated with positive results, but when detected at a later stage worse outcomes can occur. Current or former smokers aged 55 to 74 years, even those in fairly good health, are at high risk for lung cancer and should talk with a physician about the following:

  • Assessing the risk for lung cancer.
  • Getting screened for lung cancer with a low-dose CT scan.
  • Quitting smoking for continuing smokers.

Adopting a healthy lifestyle can also improve an individual’s quality of life, such as eating a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy weight, moving more and not remaining sedentary, limiting the use of alcohol, not smoking, and using sun safe measures. Healthy lifestyle practices can be incorporated into existing daily activities, e.g., walking the dog a little farther than usual and drinking water instead of sugary drinks. Making these positive changes with someone else can help maintain healthy choices as well as build social connections, which can improve physical, mental and emotional well-being.

Mental health impacts overall health and well-being. For those who lack motivation or feel overwhelmed about taking steps for a healthier lifestyle, professional help is available. Treatment can help people manage mental health issues and live full lives. The earlier treatment occurs, the better. Visit Mental Health Treatment Works | SAMHSA for more information.

Check out the Morris-Somerset Regional Chronic Disease Coalition’s (RCDC) interactive Men’s Health Month calendar to learn about men’s health topics and featuring information and disease prevention activities to live healthy lives.

For more information on men’s health, please visit HealthinAging.orgDepartment of Health and Human ServicesMy Family Health Portrait, a tool from the Surgeon General, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Morris-Somerset Regional Chronic Disease Coalition is made possible by a grant from the New Jersey Office of Cancer Control and Prevention and is administered by the Somerset County Department of Health.

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