Highlighting Disparities During National Men’s Health Month

June 5, 2023

Highlighting Disparities During National Men’s Health Month

During June, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Office of Minority Health (CMS OMH) is recognizing National Men’s Health Month by encouraging men from populations that are underserved to prioritize their health and well-being.

Heart disease is the number one cause of death for men of most racial and ethnic groups in the United States, accounting for 1 in every 4 male deaths. Among Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) beneficiaries, men had a higher prevalence of ischemic heart disease (32.3%) than women (22.2%) in 2018. Men from minority populations are often disproportionately affected by heart disease and many of its risk factors, including high blood pressure. According to the CDC, hypertension was more common in Black (58.4%), Asian (51.9%), Hispanic and Latino (50.4%) men from 2015-2018 compared to White men (49.8%). Racial disparities are prevalent not only in heart disease, but also in prostate cancer, which is the second-leading cause of cancer death among males. In 2019, Black men had the highest rate of new cancer diagnoses, followed by White, Hispanic, American Indian and Alaska Native, and Asian and Pacific Islander men.

In addition to promoting men’s physical health this month, CMS OMH is highlighting the importance of men’s mental health. Since men are far less likely to seek mental health treatment than women due to stigma, their mental health concerns often go untreated. In 2021, the suicide rate among males was approximately four times higher than the rate among females. Though men make up 50% of the U.S. population, they represent nearly 80% of suicides.

National Men’s Health Month allows CMS OMH an opportunity to highlight racial and ethnic disparities in men’s health as well as the importance of physical and mental well-being for men of all backgrounds. We encourage you to share the below resources with the men in your community to help them take control of their health this month and all year.