After observing National Women’s Health Week in May, it’s now time to observe Men’s Health Month. Every year in June, the Men’s Health Network runs a campaign to support and raise awareness of men’s health issues through various channels that include social media, blog posts, fundraisers, and “Wear Blue” events (which this year falls on June 15, the Friday before Father’s Day).
In particular, Men’s Health Month seeks to encourage health exams and screenings, early treatment of injuries and diseases, and early detection of serious illnesses such as prostate and testicular cancer. Although 83 percent of women report that they’ve had an annual physical in the past year, only 73 percent of men say the same.
What Are the Top Men’s Health Issues?
Some of the most important health issues facing men in the U.S. are:
- Heart disease: Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men in the U.S. What’s more, men are at risk from heart attacks earlier than women: The average age for a first heart attack is 70 in women, but only 66 in men.
- Colon and prostate cancer: 1 in 9 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime. Doctors recommend regular colorectal cancer screening after the age of 45.
- Testicular cancer: Testicular cancer is the most common cancer among men ages 15 to 44. Men should perform regular self-examinations to detect lumps and abnormalities.
Why Web Accessibility Is Important for Men’s Health
As a supplement to seeing their doctor, a growing number of people—men and women—are using the Internet to research health and medical information. 80 percent of Internet users have now looked up health-related topics online. This figure has climbed rapidly as online portals to health information — for instance, Wikipedia and WebMD — continue to grow in size and scope.
Men experience several important health challenges that women do not, making it especially important for them to have easy access to this health information. Most notably, men tend to die earlier than women. On average, the difference between the genders’ lifespans is 5 years in the U.S. and 7 years around the world. In addition, 1 in 2 men will have cancer during his lifetime, but only 1 in 3 women will experience the disease.
As the Internet becomes an increasingly important source of health information, web accessibility will play a greater role in disseminating this knowledge to a larger audience. People with disabilities access healthcare services more frequently than the general population, and often rely on the Internet to carry out daily activities.
Men with disabilities, in addition to finding health information, also use the Internet to interact with healthcare providers such as primary care practices and hospitals. Given this, making your website more accessible is the right thing to do, significantly improving access to healthcare among the 19 percent of the U.S. population with a disability.
Web accessibility is crucial for health-related websites so that men with disabilities — indeed all people with disabilities — can have equal access to health information. To learn more about web accessibility in healthcare, visit the Bureau of Internet Accessibility blog or contact us for a free 30-minute consultation.