Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Real Men Go To The Doctor

Recent research shows than men are 24% less likely to visit a doctor than women are.  And they are more likely to be hospitalized for health conditions that could have been prevented.  

Thus, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ--where I am currently employed) released their public service advertising campaign yesterday to promote men's preventive health.  The timing coincides with Men's Health Week, which, for 2010, is June 14th through 20th.  Laura Landro covered the story in an excellent video for the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), which you can watch here.

Please encourage your friends and family to visit the doctor.  Simple preventive tests can detect diseases early, when treatment is easier and your health outcomes will be better.  Here is a list of preventive medical tests men should have completed. Immunizations and screening tests for body mass index, cholesterol, blood pressure, depression, sexually transmitted diseases, and colerectal cancer are just a few of the preventive tests that should be done. 

There are a number of campaign materials here, including television, radio, and print.  I highly suggest checking them out--they are effective, well-crafted, and really interesting!  I've included a couple of the print materials and an outdoor banner as the images for this story.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Attention Nonsmokers: Your Mental Health

According to a recent study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, second-hand smoke could potentially be causing mental illness.  Yep, we know how bad smoke and second-hand smoke are for our physical health, including cancer risks, but it may also affect our mental health.  The risk of mental distress is higher among exposed nonsmokers than exposed smokers, 1.5 times higher for psychological distress and 3 times higher for psychological hospitalizations. Mental illness was defined as psychological distress, mainly meaning symptoms of depression and anxiety, and was measured with the General Health Questionnaire.  The authors additionally found the risk of psychiatric hospital admissions was higher for people exposed to second-hand smoke.  This study provides more reason to encourage your loved ones, coworkers, friends, and the public to quit the lethal habit.