American Diabetes Association Celebrates Men’s Health Month

Alexandria, Virginia
June 3, 2014

June is Men's Health Month and the American Diabetes Association is using this opportunity to raise health awareness among men when it comes to conditions like diabetes, sexual dysfunction and sleep apnea. Historically, men are not as comfortable as women when it comes to discussing health issues, which can result in shorter and less healthy lives for men in the United States compared to women.

Diabetes rates are similar in men and women, but men are more than twice as likely to have undiagnosed diabetes, probably because they are less likely to see a doctor regularly. Diabetes can lead to serious health complications and if left unmanaged, diabetes can cause far-reaching health implications such as heart disease, nerve damage and kidney damage. The death rate from heart disease is much higher for men with diabetes than it is for men who don't have diabetes.

"When it comes to men and diabetes management, main barriers to good health are often a lack of understanding and education of the disease, as well as a fear of having to change their current lifestyle," said Robert E. Ratner, MD, FACP, FACE, Chief Scientific & Medical Officer, American Diabetes Association. "During Men's Health Month, the American Diabetes Association is encouraging all men to get out, get active and get informed to help Stop Diabetes®."

Being male also means being more likely to suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, a breathing disorder in which the airway is blocked when the mouth and throat relax during sleep. OSA is linked to an increased risk for diabetes and can also make diabetes harder to control. In addition, diabetes can often have sexual implications for males including impotence, which is also known as erectile dysfunction or ED.

However, there are many steps men can do to take better care of their diabetes and general health. First, find a family doctor you can trust, someone who you can have an open discussion with. In addition to the doctor, try to find a friend or family member who can help you adopt healthy behaviors, such as an exercise partner. Second, try to increase your level of physical activity and modify your eating habits and portion control (small steps are better than drastic changes all at once). Last but not least, comply with your doctor's appointments. Regular professional care is crucial for keeping your diabetes management on track.

For more information about health for men with diabetes, visit diabetes.org/men.

About the American Diabetes Association

More than 30 million Americans have diabetes, and every 21 seconds another person is diagnosed with diabetes. The American Diabetes Association (Association) is the global authority on diabetes and since 1940 has been committed to its mission to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. To tackle this global public health crisis, the Association drives discovery in research to treat, manage and prevent all types of diabetes, as well as to search for cures; raises voice to the urgency of the diabetes epidemic; and provides support and advocacy for people living with diabetes, those at risk of developing diabetes and the health care professionals who serve them. For more information, please call the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETESS (1-800-342-2383) or visit diabetes.org. Information from both of these sources is available in English and Spanish. Find us on Facebook (American Diabetes Association), Twitter (@AmDiabetesAssn) and Instagram (@AmDiabetesAssn)