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A healthy lifestyle is integral to achieving my career goals

Petty Officer 3rd Class Logan Talbott gets exercise and fresh air when taking dog Odin on long walks. Here, they're at Oceanside Pier in California. (Courtesy photo) Petty Officer 3rd Class Logan Talbott gets exercise and fresh air when taking dog Odin on long walks. Here, they're at Oceanside Pier in California. (Courtesy photo)

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Men's Health

Vaccinations, physical fitness tests, weight and body fat measurements  – with everything the military mandates for service members to help ensure force readiness, it's easy to forget that these health and wellness requirements also benefit service members as individuals. Men, especially, may take the attitude of not doing anything beyond checking the boxes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's annual National Health Interview Survey, men ages 18 to 65 are more likely than women to use tobacco products and drink alcohol to excess. We're also less likely than women to seek advice from health care professionals.  

I'll admit I haven't always been as focused as I could be on health and wellness. In the past few months, though, I've been paying closer attention. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is integral to achieving my career goals. 

I enlisted in the Navy in my mid-20s and was assigned to surgical technician training and then training to become a urology technician. My experiences have led to the desire to become an officer in the Navy Medical Corps. I'm doing everything I can to get ready to apply to the Enlisted to Medical Degree Preparatory Program, or EMDP2.

Once I started digging into the program and seeing what the requirements were, it reminded me of what it means to be a sailor, and that I can't let physical fitness fall to the wayside. The program actually considers the physical fitness of candidates as part of the application process. 

I also need a bachelor's degree to apply. For six months, I commuted three times a week from Oceanside to San Diego to attend classes at National University.  Each commute meant sitting in traffic in my car for about two hours, and sitting in class for four and a half hours. Instead of making excuses about why I couldn't schedule a workout at the gym, I made a concerted effort to squeeze in exercise whenever and where ever I could. During breaks, for example, I'd find a quiet corner somewhere in the building and do pushups or squats. This is where I adopted the philosophy of, “If you think about working out, then do it right there and then.” 

My wife is a great cook who prepares healthful meals in large batches. So there's always something good for me to grab instead of fast food or vending machine snacks. But at some point, I realized I was eating right, but I was still eating too much. So I scheduled an appointment with a nutritionist. It was really eye-opening to see the size of daily recommended allotments for proteins, fruits and vegetables.  I've looked into other resources the military offers for nutrition and fitness.

Emotional health is also important. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, only about half of all people who need psychological help actually receive it. Further, men may be less likely to reach out. There's a stereotype that we aren't expected to share our feelings and should keep our problems to ourselves. As I've gotten older, I've learned that if something's bothering me, I need to speak up instead of keeping everything bottled up. One of my leaders once said, "If you ever need a day, just ask. Sometimes, you need a day." That definitely resonated with me. When I'm in a more senior leadership position, I'll take that stance as well. I haven't had to take a day yet but knowing it's available can do wonders. I appreciate that, along with the mental health resources available for military families. 

I have about six more months of classes before completing my bachelor's degree. The remaining coursework can be done online, so I won't have to deal with the physical and mental stress of a long commute. Still, I'll be busy, and I may find it challenging to keep sight of health and wellness on top of everything else I'm doing. But I've already learned the most important lesson of all: Fulfilling goals can't happen without a healthy mind, body, and spirit.

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Absolute and Relative Morbidity Burdens Attributable to Various Illnesses and Injuries, Active Component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2016

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6/19/2017
Did you know  … ? In 2016, essential hypertension accounted for 52,586 encounters for health care among 29,612 active component service members in the U.S. Armed Forces. Of all cardiovascular diseases, essential hypertension is by far the most common specific condition diagnosed among active duty service members. Untreated hypertension increases the risks of subsequent ischemic heart disease (heart attack), cerebrovascular disease (stroke), and kidney failure. CHART: Healthcare burdens attributable to cardiovascular diseases, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2016 Major condition: •	For all other cardiovascular the number of medical encounters was 70,781, Rank 29, number of individuals affected was 35,794 with a rank of 30. The number of bed days was 4,285 with a rank of 21. •	For essential hypertension the number of medical encounters was 52,586, rank 35, number of individuals affected was 29,612 with a rank of 35. The number of bed days was 151 with a rank of 86. •	For cerebrovascular disease the number of medical encounters was 7,772, rank 79, number of individuals affected was 1,708, with a rank of 96. The number of bed days was 2,107 with a rank of 32. •	For ischemic heart disease the number of medical encounters was 6,629, rank 83, number of individuals affected 2,399 with a rank of 87. The number of bed days was 1,140 with a rank of 42. •	For inflammatory the number of medical encounters was 2,221, rank 106, number of individuals affected 1,302 with a rank of 97. The number of bed days was 297 with a rank of 72. •	For rheumatic heart disease the number of medical encounters was 319, rank 125, number of individuals affected 261, with a rank of 121. The number of bed days was 2 with a rank of 133. Learn more about healthcare burdens attributable to various diseases and injuries by visiting Health.mil/MSMRArchives. #LoveYourHeart Infogaphic graphic features transparent graphic of a man’s heart illuminated within his chest.

This infographic documents healthcare burdens attributable to cardiovascular diseases among active component, U.S. Armed Forces in 2016.

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Erectile Dysfunction among Male Active Component Service members

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Erectile dysfunction (ED) is defined as the persistent inability to achieve and sustain an erection that is adequate for sexual intercourse. ED can result from a problem with any of the above: •	Hormones •	Emotions •	Nerves •	Muscles •	Blood vessels These factors are required for an erection include. Picture is a brain (left) and a male figure (right) showing the heart and main arteries of the body. The top three most common ED diagnoses are: 1.	Psychosexual dysfunction 2.	Hypoactive sexual desire disorder 3.	Male orgasmic disorder Image shows a couple outside together during sunset. House displays in background. Causes of ED (Shows cut out of male body highlighting areas of the body where causes happen) •	Unrealistic sexual expectations •	Depression/ Anxiety/ Stress or other mental health issues •	High blood pressure •	Diabetes •	Obesity •	Injuries that affect the pelvic area or spinal cord •	Low testosterone •	Aging, Substance Abuse Demographics: •	Incidence rate of erectile dysfunction are higher among black, non-Hispanic servicemen when compared to other race/ethnicity groups. •	Black non-Hispanic service members have higher incidence rates of several conditions known to be risk factors for erectile dysfunction, including hypertension, obesity and diabetes. •	Separated, divorced and widowed servicemen had a higher incidence rate of ED than servicemen never married. •	Servicemen never deployed had the highest crude incidence rate of erectile dysfunction. Get the facts •	Erectile dysfunction is the most common sexual complaint reported by men to healthcare providers •	Among male service members nearly half of erectile dysfunction cases related predominantly or exclusively to psychological factors. •	Incidence rates of psychogenic erectile dysfunction are greater than organic erectile dysfunction for service members. •	Organic erectile dysfunction can result from physical factors such as obesity, smoking, diabetes, cardiovascular disease or medication use. •	Highest incidence rates were observed in those aged 60 years or older. •	Those 40 years or older are most commonly diagnosed with erectile dysfunction. Effective against erectile dysfunction •	Regular exercise  ( Shows soldier running) •	Psychological counseling (Shows two soldiers engaging in mental health counseling. They are seating on a couch).  •	Quit smoking ( shows lit cigarette)  •	Stop substance abuse ( Shows to shot glasses filled with alcohol) •	Nutritional supplements ( Shows open pill bottle of supplements) •	Surgical treatment ( Shows surgical instruments) Talk to your partner Although Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is a difficult issue for sex partners to discuss, talking openly can often be the best way to resolve stress and discover underlying causes. If you are experiencing erectile dysfunction, explore treatment options with your doctor. Learn more about ED by reading ‘Erectile Dysfunction Among Male Active Component Service Members, U.S. Armed Forces, 2004 – 2013.’ Medical Surveillance Monthly Report (MSMR) Vol. 21 No. 9 – September 2014 at www.Health.mil/MSMRArchives. Follow us on Twitter at AFHSBPAGE. #MensHealth

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Routine Screening for HIV Antibodies Among Male Civilian Applicants

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This graphic shows the results of routine screening for antibodies to Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) among both male civilian applicants for U.S. military service and male service members of the U.S. Armed Forces, active component - Army during  January 2015 through June 2016 surveillance period. 368,369 males out of 463,132 civilian applicants for U.S. military service were tested for antibodies to HIV. Out of 124 civilian applicants that were HIV positive, 114 were male. Throughout the period, seroprevalences were much higher among males than females.  As for U.S. Armed Forces active component, 467,011 male service members out of 548,974 were tested for antibodies to HIV. Out of 120 soldiers that were HIV positive 117 were male. Annual seroprevalences for male active component Army members greatly exceed those of females. During the 2015, on average, one new HIV infection was detected among active duty army soldiers per 5,265 screening tests.  HIV-1 is the cause of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and has had major impacts on the health of populations and on healthcare systems worldwide. Of 515 active component soldiers diagnosed with HIV infections since 2011, a total of 291 (57%) were still in the military. Get tested and learn more by reading the Medical Surveillance Monthly Report at Health.Mil/MSMR.

Since October 1985, the U.S. military has conducted routine screening for antibodies to Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) to enable adequate, timely medical evaluations, treatment and counseling, and protect the battlefield blood supply. This infographic provides information on routine screening for antibodies to HIV among male civilian applicants of the U.S. Military Service and U.S. Armed Forces, January 2011 – June 2016.

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5 Major Categories of Abdominal Hernia

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An abdominal hernia is an abnormal protrusion of an organ or tissue through a defect in the abdominal wall. This infographic provides information on incident diagnoses of the five types of abdominal hernia that were documented in health records of 72,404 active component service members from 1 January 2005 through 31 December 2014.  A total of 87,480 incident diagnoses of the five types of abdominal hernia were documented in health records of 72,404 active component service members. Here are highlights of the findings from this study: •	The give types of abdominal hernia categories used in this analysis were: inguinal, umbilical ventral/ incisional, femoral and “other.” •	 During the 10-year interval, incidence rates for most of the five types of hernia trended downward but increased for umbilical hernias in both males and females and ventral/ incisional hernias among females. •	Overall incidence rate of inguinal hernias among males was six times the rate among females. •	Incidence rates of femoral, ventral/ incisional and umbilical hernias were higher among females than males. •	For most types of hernia incidence rates tend to be higher among older age groups.  Abdominal hernias are diagnosed most frequently in the inguinal, umbilical, and femoral regions, but another category of relatively common hernias of the anterior abdominal wall includes ventral and incisional hernias. Health records contained documentation for 35,624 surgical procedures whose description corresponded to the types of hernia diagnoses in U.S. military service members. Learn more about the findings of the study at Health.mil/MSMR

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Heart Disease and Its Effects on Service Members

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The HPV Vaccine Saves Lives

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5/16/2016
The Defense Department recommends male and female military service members, ages 17-26 years, receive an HPV vaccine series to generate a robust immune response to the quadrivalent human papillomavirus vaccine (HPV4). This graphic highlights information the benefits of the HPV vaccine. The vaccine is most effective among fully vaccinated individuals.   Cancer Prevention Facts •	HPV is the most common sexually  transmitted infection (STI) •	There are more than 40 HPV types that can infect the genital areas •	Some HPV types give warts •	Some HPV types develop cancer  Effective Against STI Transmission •	The HPV vaccine is a safe and effective way to protect yourself from the virus •	The HPV vaccine provides nearly 100% protection from HPV types 6,11,16 and 18 •	HPV vaccine shows early signs of success in reducing HPV infections and related illnesses •	Protection is expected to be long-lasting  Safety Tips •	Getting your HPV vaccine and practicing safe sex such as wearing a condom may lower the risk of HPV •	Limiting the number of lifetime sex partners can also lower the risk of HPV •	When given the HPV vaccine, the body makes antibodies in response to the protection to clear it from the body  Get the Facts •	2,091 female service members aged 17-26 years received 1-3 HPV4 doses during 2006-2012, stratified by number of doses (1, 2, or 3).  Get the HPV Vaccine •	Only 22.5% of eligible service members initiated the series •	Of those, only 39.1% completed the full three-dose series as of June 2011.  Even though the 3 dose regiment provides nearly complete protection against HPV16 and HPV18, in the U.S., only 12% and 19% of female adolescents among commercial and Medicaid plans respectively complete the series.  Read HPV Facts from the CDC: https://www.ok.gov/health2/documents/IMM_Teens_HPV_Facts.pdf  Read the STI issue of the Medical Surveillance Monthly Report at Health.Mil/MSMR   Get the conversation started. Ask your healthcare provider about the HPV vaccine today. Follow us on Twitter @AFHSBPAGE and use hashtag #VaccinesWork.

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