The latest health survey data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicated that 12 percent of men aged 18 and over were either in fair or poor health. This might not sound like a lot, but it represents millions of Americans who are dealing with a poorer quality of life due to medical conditions. And while there are many health issues impacting men across the country, these are four of the most important health issues men in Charles County should be aware of right now:
COVID-19 is Disproportionately Affecting Men Around the World and African-Americans in Maryland
COVID-19 has changed the lives of men, women, and children around the world in countless ways. But right here in Maryland, data suggests that the virus is affecting African-Americans at a higher rate than any other race.
The latest data from the Maryland Department of Health shows that Charles County has fewer than 1,500 confirmed cases thus far (compared to Prince George’s County’s nearly 18,000 confirmed cases), but the reality is that Charles County’s population is largely represented by black or African-American residents. In fact, the most recent population figures from the U.S. Census Bureau estimate that just under 50% of Charles County’s population is black or African American.
Put that together with some early indicators from the World Health Organization that COVID-19 appears to be more deadly for men than it is for women, and it’s apparent men in Charles County need to be especially vigilant about practicing physical distancing, wearing masks in public areas, and staying aware of COVID-19 symptoms.
Diabetes is an Everyday Reality for a Higher Percentage of Men Than Women in Charles County
The CDC estimates that about 10.5 percent of the U.S. population has diabetes. Charles County’s population generally mirrors the national average; however, the latest data shows that for adults over the age of 20, a higher percentage of Charles County men (11.4%) than women (10.4%) are living with the disease.
With the right support system, lifestyle changes, and education, people with diabetes can live perfectly fulfilling lives. Without those things, however, diabetes can lead to more serious, potentially life-threatening conditions, including heart disease, kidney disease, nerve damage, urinary tract infections, foot ulcers, gum disease, and more.
Cardiovascular Disease Hits Men Especially Hard in Charles County
Cardiovascular disease is a wide-ranging variety of conditions that includes heart disease, heart attack, stroke, and heart failure. Heart disease, in particular, is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States — accounting for one in every four deaths in our country.
Locally, cardiovascular disease remains a serious health concern for men. For men over the age of 35 of all races and ethnicities in Charles County, these conditions account for 535.2 deaths per 100,000. This is over 47 percent greater than the figure for women in Charles County (363.9 deaths per 100,000), based on the most recent data available from the CDC.
Obesity Remains a Serious, Costly Disease for Men
If there’s one silver lining to be had, it’s the fact that Charles County continues to outpace the national obesity rate. In the U.S., it’s estimated that over 42 percent of adults are obese while just under 36 percent of Charles County residents (men and women) fall into that classification. And although obesity is more prevalent among women than it is for men, it still affects a substantial percentage of the local male population.
Obesity has the potential to cause severe damage to your body in a variety of ways — from type-2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Because of this, obesity is one of the most costly diseases in the U.S., with the average medical cost for people who have obesity $1,429 higher than those of normal weight. Fortunately, resources are available in Charles County to help people get their weight under control, such as the clinical dietitian services offered at UM Charles Regional Medical Group – Primary Care in La Plata.
To learn more about more health issues affecting men in Charles County and across the country, visit the CDC’s official website. As always, if you have any questions about your own health, we recommend scheduling an appointment with your primary care provider.