New state initiative focuses on men's health

CHICAGO The 'Step Up to the Plate' campaign encourages men and boys to learn more about the diseases that commonly affect men. Organizers are especially concerned about prostate cancer.

On average, men live six years less than women. One in four men has high blood pressure, and one in five men can expect to have a heart attack before the age of 65.

However, officials say early detection can save lives.

"If you don't take care of yourself, you're doing a disservice not just to yourself, but to your family and to your entire nation. Go and get checked. Make sure you get these simple tests and get treated early," said Illinois Dept. of Public Health Director Dr. Damon T. Arnold.

The state of Illinois has also launched a new men's health Web site,

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