Men's Health: Take charge

Men's Health: Take charge

by Yan Kennon
U.S. Navy

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (NNS) -- Men can set a healthy example for kids, family and buddies by getting health screenings. Create a plan (based on age, family history, and personal medical history) with the primary care manager (PCM).

Prevention is the best medicine. Men can take charge of their personal health by getting health screenings, eating healthy, being physically active, maintaining a healthy weight, managing stress, staying injury free, practicing safe sex, drinking in moderation, and being tobacco free.

"Early detection and timely treatment of diseases and injuries ensures a medically ready force and a healthier population," said Capt. Michael Sullivan, Naval Hospital (NH) Jacksonville director for medical services.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the top five leading causes of death among men are heart disease, cancer, unintentional injuries, chronic lower respiratory disease, and stroke. Heart disease is number one, killing one in every four males in the U.S.

Many of the health issues men face are preventable and treatable.

Stay on top of your game:

Men should see their medical home port team for regular checkups. Checkups can help diagnose issues early, before they become a problem, and sometimes before symptoms appear. Ask the doctor what screenings are needed and when. Track personal numbers such as blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, and body mass index. And get vaccinated; immunizations help maintain health, regardless of age.

Get good sleep:

Insufficient sleep can be associated with a number of conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and depression. One's sleep needs change with age. Seven to nine hours is ideal for adults.

Toss the tobacco:

More than 16 million Americans are living with a disease caused by smoking. Tobacco remains the single largest preventable cause of death and disease in the U. S., killing more than 480,000 Americans each year. It's never too late to quit. Quitting produces immediate and long-term benefits: quitting lowers the risk of heart disease, cancer, lung disease, and other illnesses. Avoid second-hand smoke, which can also cause heart disease, lung cancer, and stroke.

Be active:

More than one-third of U.S. adults are obese. Adults should get at least two and a half hours of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week, and muscle-strengthening activities at least two days a week. Work all major muscle groups including legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms.

Eat healthy:

Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables every day, as they are sources of vitamins, minerals and micronutrients that protect against disease. Choose healthy snacks. Limit food and drinks high in calories, sugar, salt, fat, and alcohol.

For 24/7 clinical advice, call the Nurse Advice Line at 800-TRICARE (800-874-2273).

To email the health care team, sign up for TRICARE Online Patient Portal Secure Messaging at or Secure email messaging is for non-urgent issues like requesting lab results, routine medical questions, and medication renewals.

To view the PCMs, visit the command website at, click on Medical Home Port, and click on each team.

NH Jacksonville's priority since its founding in 1941 is to heal the nation's heroes and their families. The command is comprised of the Navy's third largest hospital and five branch health clinics across Florida and Georgia. Of its patient population (163,000 active and retired Sailors, Soldiers, Marines, Airmen, Guardsmen, and their families), about 85,000 are enrolled with a primary care manager and Medical Home Port team at one of its facilities. To find out more or download the command's mobile app, visit

For more information, visit,, or

For more news from Naval Hospital Jacksonville, visit

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