Monday, May 7, 2012

Preventing young male death in America

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website has a plethora of statistics regarding the health of America.  I have reviewed the site and found the tables for male all cause mortality by age particularly enlightening.

Predictably, the number one and two causes of death for males 45+ is heart disease and cancer.  These diseases are well known in the public eye with significant resources put towards the prevention and treatment of these conditions, and rightfully so.

The eye-opener for me is this statistic for young males. The number one cause of death for males from age 1 to 44 is "unintentional injury".  This trend is also seen in females with "unintentional injury" the leading cause of death from age 1 to 34.   Unintentional injury is used rather than "accident" because public health officials believe that many can be potentially preventable.

Though a death at any age is difficult, the demise of a young person is especially tragic.  In addition, the loss of productive years of work and reproduction are also quite a loss to society at large.

Some things that come to mind for young men to prevent such tragedies are:
  • Don't drink or use drugs and operate machinery
  • Don't speed
  • Wear your seatbelts
  • Use good firearm and hunting safety practices
  • Wear a helmet for bikes, motorbikes, ATV's
  • Wear a life vest when using watercraft 
  • Be aware of workplace safety
Obviously, this list is far from comprehensive...

On Tuesday, June 12, I will be distributing unintentional injury prevention materials at the Concord Hospital cafeteria to celebrate Men's Health Week - more on that celebration in another blog post.

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