June 15, 2007

CRAPO PRAISES MEN'S HEALTH WEEK

With Father's Day this weekend, Senate passes resolution supporting Men's Health Week - June 11-17

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today Idaho Senator Mike Crapo praises Senate approval of a resolution designating June 11-17, 2007, as "National Men's Health Week." The resolution, which Crapo introduced in May, passed by unanimous consent last night in the Senate. Crapo, a two-time survivor of prostate cancer, is a champion of men's health initiatives and has pressed for the creation of a federal office for men's health to promote public awareness and better coordinate existing research. Crapo serves on the Senate Finance Committee with jurisdiction over many federal health issues and is recognized as a congressional leader on health care issues.

"National Men's Health Week is an opportunity for us as a nation to focus on some of the critical health issues facing men today," Crapo said. "Unfortunately, men are all too often apathetic when it comes to getting the medical help and treatment that they need. In fact, studies have shown that men are 100 percent less likely to visit the doctor than women. Even with improvements in medical technology, men continue to have a shorter life span than women, and of the ten leading causes of death in the country, men lead women in all ten categories.

"Early detection and preventive efforts are key to reversing these alarming statistics. With Father's Day just around the corner, it is my hope that National Men's Health Week will empower men and their families with increased awareness and access to important health information. Taking proactive steps to get necessary treatment and care can ultimately lead to longer life spans, fewer hospital visits and lower health costs faced by taxpayers and employers."

In February 2007, Crapo also introduced legislation (S. 640) that would establish an Office of Men's Health at the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), to mirror the already-existing Office of Women's Health. The bill is currently pending in the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. Additionally, Crapo is a leader in promoting free or reduced-cost health screenings at Idaho fairs and other events throughout the state.

Each June since 1994, National Men's Health Week is celebrated in 45 states and hundreds of cities, localities, public health departments and health care facilities.

The following statistics reveal the importance of increased awareness for men's health issues:

  • All ten of the ten leading causes of death, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, affect men at a higher percentage than women;
  • Testicular cancer is one of the most common cancers in men aged 15 to 34, and, when detected early, has a 95 percent survival rate;
  • Between ages 45 and 54, men are 3 times more likely than women to die of heart attacks;
  • Men die of cancer at almost 1.5 times the rate of women;
  • The likelihood that a man will develop prostate cancer is 1 in 6; statistics show an estimated 230,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year alone and approximately 30,000 will die; and
  • Appropriate use of tests such as prostate specific antigen (PSA) exams and blood pressure screens, in conjunction with clinical examination and self-testing for problems such as testicular cancer, can result in early detection and increase the survival rates to nearly 100 percent.

In addition to his work on the Senate Finance Committee, Crapo has been recognized and awarded by several prominent health care advocacy groups and has also served as founder and Co-Chairman of the Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Caucus and the Congressional Heart and Stroke Coalition.