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New Jersey Business - Men's Health Issues PDF


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New Jersey Business - Men's Health Issues PDF

  1. 1. New Jersey Business 39 FITNESS AND WELL-BEING Addressing Men’s Health Issues Whether you are a young man entering the workforce fresh out of college or a grandfather nearing retirement, your health and well-being should always be top of mind. By Kevin Berrigan, Contributing Writer W hilearangeofmedicalissuesaffectmen,heart disease is the number one health concern for men at any age. According to Mimi Guarneri, M.D., FACC, senior advisor at Atlantic Health System for integrative medicine and the New Center for Well Being in Morristown, heart disease is preventable through lifestyle choices and avoiding risk factors such as cigarette smoking, diabetes, central obesity, stress and poor nutrition, which can all be easily modified. As men gain weight, they are more prone to diabetes, high blood pressure, gout, erectile dysfunction, heart disease, cancer, arthritis and Alzheimer’s disease, she says. “As a man ages, the risk of heart disease goes up. It is important to think about and modify risk factors as soon as possible.” Patrick Roth, M.D., a neurosurgeon at Englewood Hospital and Medical Cen- ter, concurs. He says heart disease, diabetes, prostate problems and erectile dys- A Publication of the New Jersey Business & Industry Association
  2. 2. 40 September 2013 function are some of the large health concerns for men, especially later in life. However, these issues, which are part of the aging process, can be mitigated if one starts early in life in maintaining his body weight and eat- ing mostly green, leafy vegetables and avoiding starchy vegetables. “If you like meat, you need to just eat less and don’t make it the central part of the meal. Use it as a garnish, instead. Monitor your blood pressure and cholesterol and begin an exercise regimen. You should lose more weight as you age. You should be lighter in your 50s than you were in your 20s,” Roth says. The engagement of family and life- style are extremely important in the health process, he continues. “There is a strong connection between the phys- ical and psychological. Neurons and brain efficacy can affect the body in a positive way.” The first step to optimal health is optimal nutrition, according to Guar- neri. “Men should avoid food high in sugar and simple carbohydrates such as fruit juice, soda and white bread. It is best to eat whole foods such as greens, fresh fruit and whole grains. For pro- tein, men should consider fish such as wild salmon and lean meats. Learn to read labels and avoid high fructose corn syrup and partially hydrogenated oils. Keep sodium to less than 1500mg per day.” Fitness is important, she says. It is recommended that men perform 20- 30 minutes of aerobic exercise daily, followed by strength training for 40 minutes. Any exercise program should Dr. Mimi Guarneri, of Atlantic Health System, notes that heart disease is preventable through lifestyle choices and avoiding risk factors such as cigarette smoking, diabetes, central obesity, stress and poor nutrition. ADDRESSING MEN’S HEALTH ISSUES
  3. 3. 42 September 2013 be approved by one’s physician. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that heart disease is the leading cause of death for men in the United States. In 2007, it was the leading cause of death for more than 390,000 men. And men in their 50s carry the highest risk for develop- ing heart disease and having a stroke, according to the American Heart As- sociation. Researchers from three universi- ties compiled data from the National Health Interview Survey and tracked the changes in respondents’ health over a span of 23 years. Survey results revealed that people born after 1980 had the most diverse answers when rating their own health conditions compared to older generations. Although researchers can’t pin- point the exact reason for the increase in the health gap, their findings suggest that the “digital divide” may have a lot to do with it — some people are bet- ter educated about their health due to having access to medical information on the Internet, while others lack the necessary technology to routinely keep their health in check. Roth thoroughly endorses that as- sessment. “There is a tremendous dis- tinction between the promotion of health and treatment of disease. The single biggest enabler of health is edu- cation. It is an incredibly important part of the health process that will help miti- gate diseases as we age and gives us the confidence to overcome diseases.” The Center for Well Being at Atlan- tic Health offers patients the opportu- nity to modify their risk factors. Health assessments and health coaching is available to all individuals who recog- nize the need for lifestyle change. “Our practitioners are experts in stress management and provide pro- grams to enhance resiliency such as yoga, meditation and Tai Chi,” Guar- neri says. “Nutrition counseling and Why Are Men Avoiding the Doctor? Ignorance in not knowing your health status is not bliss, and it can certainly be harmful. By Dr. Lisa Blondin, senior medical director for AmeriHealth New Jersey We all have a variety of excuses for putting things off, but avoiding the doctor is a habit men should try to change. In fact, men are 24 percent less likely than women to have visited a doctor within the past year and are 22 percent more likely to have neglected their cholesterol tests. Even if you feel good, every man (and woman) should make it a priority to visit their primary care physician (PCP) at least annually. Checking in goes a long way Check-ups are important because they provide the opportunity for routine health exams and tests, which can help prevent a problem before it even starts. If a health concern is found as a result of the visit, chances of successful treatment are better if detected early. If you do not have a PCP, choosing one will help to ensure your care is coordinated and you are getting the health care that you need and deserve. Know your numbers More than one in three adult men has some form of cardiovascular disease. Having your blood pressure and cholesterol levels checked regularly can help you prevent becoming part of the statistic. The results of these simple, but important, tests can provide a wealth of insight into your overall health. They can also help determine if any lifestyle changes need to be made to improve your overall health and well-being. Creative reminders It can be easy to “forget” to do things that may not be so much fun – man or woman – but getting creative with your reminders might help. A suggestion for men to consider: Schedule your annual PCP visit around an event you really enjoy – the Super Bowl, your annual vacation or your favorite holiday. Whatever you choose, know that setting aside this time for yourself is helping ensure you’ll enjoy these things for years to come. ADDRESSING MEN’S HEALTH ISSUES
  4. 4. 44 September 2013 cooking classes are available as well as treatments for pain management such as acupuncture, Jin Shin Jitsu and massage. Atlantic Health is home to the First Line Therapy program, which is a one-stop solution for weight loss, diabetes, high cholesterol, fatigue and fibromyalgia.” Early detection through pre-screen- ings and education programs are two important ways men can avoid many illnesses, according to Muhammad Azam, M.D., family medicine at Princ- eton Healthcare System in Dayton. Also, different illnesses affect men in different age groups, he says. The leading causes of death among males in the 15-24 age group is unintentional injuries, poisoning, traffic accidents and homicides, with 114 males in New Jersey dying by homicide in 2011 and 77 in traffic accidents. Poor men- tal health, drinking, binge eating and smoking also cause some of these is- sues among this age group, Azam says. In addition, New Jersey leads the na- tion in the number of blood poison- ing cases. The national average is 10.9 people per 100,000 individuals, while the Garden State rate is 17.9 people per 100,000 individuals. In Essex County, it is 30.8 people per 100,000 individuals. In the 25-34 age group, the lead- ing causes of death among men in New Jersey are: poisoning, with 136 deaths in 2011; homicides with 101; traffic accidents with 80; and suicides with 58. In the 35-44 age group, the areas of concern are: poisoning, 129; heart disease, 97; suicides, 93; and traffic accidents, 54. For those 45- 54, it is: heart disease, 435 in 2011; liver disease, 160; poisoning 157; and suicides 155. For the retirement age group between 55-65 the leading causes of death in New Jersey males in 2011 were: heart disease with 787; lung cancer with 421; other cancers 321; and diabetes with 196. Azam recommends diabetes screening by age 20. Type 2 diabetes The Executive Health Program at RWJ 1-888-887-9584 Principal Teaching Hospital for Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School Flagship Hospital for Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey Being the Best Means... Your Health is Your Bottom Line Mimi Guarneri: As a man ages, the risk of heart disease goes up. It is important to think about and modify risk factors as soon as possible. ADDRESSING MEN’S HEALTH ISSUES
  5. 5. 46 September 2013 — the most common type of diabetes — affects the way the body uses blood sugar (glucose), he says. Poorly con- trolled diabetes can lead to heart dis- ease, eye problems, nerve damage and other complications. To prevent type 2 diabetes, one needs to get serious about lifestyle choices. “Eat a healthy diet. Include physical activity in your daily routine. If you’re overweight, lose excess pounds,” Azam says. Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Another issue is high blood pressure. “A blood pressure greater than 135/80 is need for concern,” he says. “It is rec- ommended that you start screening for high blood pressure at 18, but at Princeton Healthcare System, we start as early as five to avoid any chance for illnesses to develop like stroke, heart attack and kidney problems. Diabetes is more prevalent in obese individuals and can damage the pancreas.” Other health concerns include cholesterol. Some factors leading to high cholesterol include obesity and tobacco use. Additionally, Azim says “By 50, ev- eryone should be checked for colorec- tal cancer and everyone between 36-65 years of age should be checked at least once for HIV infection.” Early Detection Most of the major illnesses facing men in New Jersey today, especially those in the business community, center around prevention and early detec- tion, according to Michael B. Stein- berg, M.D., MPH, FACP, medical direc- tor of the executive health program at Robert Wood Johnson University Hos- pital (RWJUH) and associate professor, Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medi- cal School division of general internal medicine in New Brunswick. “Most diseases are preventable or treatable if found early,” Steinberg says. “The problem for many busy men is finding the time in their schedule to undergo the recommended preventive health tests. This is exactly why the ex- ecutive health program at RWJUH was designed. Heart disease and cancer, for example, are two major concerns of men and can be evaluated during a preventive health examination. Can- cer is an especially concerning issue as New Jersey has higher than average cancer rates for certain cancers com- pared with other states. Other issues that have emerged recently include joint health, testosterone levels and the use of nutritional supplements and health screenings. These also are eval- uated and discussed during our visits.” According to a report provided by Steinberg on cancer prevalence in New Jersey, on January 1, 2009, of 392,436 people with a history of invasive can- cer, 179,618 (46 percent) were men. About 86 percent of the cancer sur- vivors were white and 9 percent were black. The majority of the cancer survi- vors were 65 years or older. Steinberg also says that there is a definite connection between physi- cal and psychological issues. “The division of mind and body is largely an artificial one. The mind controls how the body perceives illness and symptoms, so the two are interwo- ven. Certainly, stress in one’s life, ei- ther from work or elsewhere, can ad- versely impact one’s physical health. Conversely, physical illness can often impact our psychological well-being. All of these issues, including good sleep health, are critical and can be addressed during a comprehensive preventive evaluation.” There are no miracle cures or treatments for preventing illness, he says. “A healthy lifestyle including good nutrition, exercise, sleep and stress management, combined with avoiding certain hazards such as to- bacco and excess alcohol, are essen- tial. In addition, keeping up to date with preventive testing, screening and immunizations are very impor- tant. All of these are included in the RWJUH executive health program’s comprehensive preventive assess- ment,” he says. SteinbergfurtherstatesthatRWJUH provides state-of-the-art treatment for Dr. Muhammad Azam, of Princeton Healthcare System, says early detection and education programs are two important ways men can avoid many illnesses. Dr. Michael B. Steinberg, of Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, says, “The problem for many busy men is finding the time in their schedules to undergo the recommended preventative health tests.” ADDRESSING MEN’S HEALTH ISSUES
  6. 6. 48 September 2013 heart disease and cancer, and that it has national experts on staff in many critical medical and surgical fields. Prostate Cancer As mentioned earlier, one of the more serious and easily preventable illnesses for men is prostate cancer, according to Michael Esposito, M.D., a urologist with Holy Name Hospital in Teaneck. Other than skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men, he says. A walnut-size structure, the prostate surrounds the male urethra like a doughnut. Its pur- pose is to secrete fluid to carry sperm during ejaculation. The American Cancer Society estimated that about 192,280 new cases of prostate can- cer were diagnosed in 2009 and that 27,360 men would die of the disease in the same year. “There are often no symptoms in early stages and it is suggested that you see your doctor if you have changes in urination, blood in your urine or se- men, or frequent pain in your lower back and legs,” Esposito says. One of the chief indicators to ex- amine in looking at the possibility of someone developing prostate cancer is family history, Esposito says. “If a pri- maryorsecondaryrelativehasprostate cancer, this raises the risk factor for you developing it as well. One in eight men during their lifetime will develop pros- tate cancer.” Other risk factors include obesity, cigarette smoking and chronic prostatis, which is an inflammation of the prostate gland. Esposito says early detection is key to treating the illness. “It is an inherit- able gene that puts you at risk of devel- oping this deadly disease.” Two ways of detecting prostate problems include a simple Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) blood test and a digital rectal exam, usually included in a standard physical examination each year. Age is the strongest risk factor for prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is very rare before the age of 40, but the chance of having prostate cancer rises rapidly after age 50. Almost two out of three cases of prostate cancer are found in men over the age of 65. “It is recom- mended that individuals over the age of 50 have both the PSA blood test and the digital rectal exam each year,” he says. It’s not known why, but prostate cancer occurs more often in black men. They also are more likely to be diagnosed at an advanced stage, and are more than twice as likely to die of prostate cancer as white men. “If you are African-American and have a fam- ily history of prostate problems, it is recommended you have both the PSA blood test and the digital rectal exam after the age of 40,” Esposito says. There is some strong evidence, ac- cording to Esposito, that a deficiency of vitamin D, a diet high in saturated fatty acids and a lack of exercise can also be contributing factors. Further research suggests that Selenium, a naturally oc- curring vitamin supplement and lyco- pene, a vitamin found in cooked and raw tomato products and watermelon, can help prevent the development of this disease. Even a benign enlarged prostate gland can cause blockage and a de- creased quality of life, he says. “Also maintaining proper testosterone levels is extremely important. Research into thecauses,preventionandtreatmentof prostate cancer is being done in many medical centers around the world.” Conclusion Although men may face a range of ill- nesses, the good news is that education leads to prevention. Practices such as exercise, proper diet, stress reduction and routine health screenings again can assist. Fortunately, healthcare in- stitutions and practitioners in the state are ready, willing and able to put men on the road to proper health. NJB ADDRESSING MEN’S HEALTH ISSUES David C. Adams is elected CEO and member of the board for the Curtiss- Wright Corporation, Parsippany. Kennedy University Hospital, Voorhees, names Joseph W. Devine president and CEO, and Maryann Lauletta, MD, vice president of medical operations. Scott Evelyn is named president and general manager for New York-based Cigna’s tri-state market. Rich Green is promoted to executive vice president for worldwide sales at Realogy, Madison. Sherry A. Varrelman is named senior vice president and regional wealth leader at TD Wealth® Private Client Group for the Pennsylvania, Southern New Jersey and Central New Jersey region. Elizabeth Garcia is appointed chair of the labor and employment practice group at Parker McCay, Mount Laurel. Jason Kroll is named vice president for university advancement at Monmouth University, West Long Branch. Melissa Sievwright is appointed as- sistant vice president of marketing at Levin Management, North Plainfield. Patrick Migliaccio is promoted to treasurer of New Jersey Resources, Wall. NAMES IN THE NEWS Gary Terrinoni is named executive vice president of administration and chief financial officer for Kennedy Health System, Voorhees.