Thursday, Jun 1, 2017
56, 755, 1.12, 2,632.
Bust out these numbers around the guys in your life and there is a good chance they’ll attach a name with each, like Joltin Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak or Hammerin’ Hank Aaron’s 755 career home runs. The other two are bit more obscure, but plenty of guys know about Bob Gibson’s eye-popping 1.12 ERA in 1968, and Cal Ripken Jr.’s unbelievable 2,632 consecutive games played streak.
But ask those same men to tell you their blood pressure, PSA, BMI, cholesterol or blood glucose levels, and you’ll hear crickets. While those baseball statistics and facts flow off the tongue, when it comes to knowing their own health statistics, men tend to strike out. In celebration of Men’s Health Month this June, Harbin Clinic encourages every man to Man Up & Know Your Stats.
“If men decide to skip health screenings or put them off for whatever reason, they could be putting their life in danger. Men need to take charge of their health and learn their stats,” Family Medicine Physician Dr. Brian McNiece says.
The annual screenings for men test for important things like cholesterol, blood pressure, healthy weight ranges, PSA and glucose level. These tests help physicians spot problems.
Your primary care physician serves as your health care coach and will help you navigate the various numbers and letters.
A Quick Primer
This measures the total amount of HDL, LDL and triglycerides in the blood. Having a total number of 200 or below is considered normal.
This stands for low-density lipoprotein, commonly known as bad cholesterol, and is made up of fat and protein and carries cholesterol and fats in the blood. Having a reading of 100 mg/dL or below is considered optimal.
This stands for high-density lipoprotein, commonly known as good cholesterol, and having high levels of this can reduce the risk for heart attacks and strokes. Having a reading of 40 mg/dL or above is considered good.
This number measures the amount of prostate-specific antigen in the blood and is primarily used to screen for prostate cancer in men over the age of 40 or who have a family history of prostate cancer. A level of 4.0 ng/ml or below is considered normal.
This is a disease where blood glucose levels are above normal. A blood test lets your doctors check your numbers. A fasting blood sugar level below 100 mg/dL is considered normal.
The body mass index is a person’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of their height in meters. It can help doctors determine a healthy weight range for individuals.
The combination of systolic and diastolic numbers represent your blood pressure. High blood pressure can lead to several health complications.
This indicates how much pressure blood is exerting against artery walls when the heart beats. A reading of 120 or less is considered normal.
This indicates how much pressure blood is exerting against artery walls when the heart is resting between beats. A reading of 80 or less is considered healthy.
Know Your Stats
The CDC reports that men are 80 percent less likely than women to see a primary care physician for their annual health screening, putting them in an 0-2 count when it comes to their own health.
“I challenge all men to get engaged, talk with their primary care physician and learn more about their health,” Dr. McNiece says. “This way they can be sure to stay healthy and active in the game of life for years to come.”
While a low batting average can send a slumping slugger to the minor leagues, bad numbers on these tests can indicate heart problems, cancer or other issues, that if left unchecked, can become serious health risks.
Armed with their own health statistics, men can step up to the plate like Hammerin’ Hank and put the hurt on heart disease, cancer and other ailments.
So the next time someone argues whether Mike Trout or Kris Bryant has a better WAR, impress your family and friends by showing them your stellar BMI.
To learn more about men's health, go to harbinclinic.com/mens-health.