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2012 Tennessee Men's Health Report Card

Summary of findings in the 2012 Tennessee Men’s Health Report Card:

Where we're doing better:

Improvements were seen in a decrease in the number of adult men smoking cigarettes, but both smoked and smokeless tobacco use rates remain significantly higher than national targets and death rates from smoking related cancers (lung, head and neck)  are two times higher than the Healthy People 2020 goals.  

Death rates from ischemic heart disease (which restricts blood flow to the heart) are down, but heart diseases overall remain the leading cause of death among men over age 65 in our state. 

Men report higher rates of  seeking screening for high cholesterol levels and receiving annual flu shots that are close to national goals.


Where we need to do more:

Men in our state continue to receive failing grades for deaths from

  • cancer of lung for White males

  • cancer of head and neck for all males

  • prostate cancer in Black males

  • stroke

  • liver disease

  • motor vehicle accidents

  • AIDS in Black males

  • homicide in Black males

  • suicide in White males 

Obesity rates continue to increase, with the percentage of men who are obese (31%) exceeding the percentage of men who report being a healthy weight (27%), with nearly 42% of men being in the overweight category.   Because obesity is a risk factor for heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, and many types of cancers, this trend is alarming for the future health of our state.

Rates of new cases of preventable infectious illness, such as HIV and syphilis are also alarmingly high. 

Rates of deaths from unintentional injury deaths (not including motor vehicle accidents) are rising at alarming rates, and have surpassed deaths form motor vehicle accidents in the young men ages 18-39.

Racial disparities persist in many death and disease categories, and also in  indicators of social conditions which  impact health status, such as poverty, education, and health insurance coverage.

We invite you to download and explore the report card and discuss what it means to you, your family, your work, your community. Improving these indictors will depend not only on individuals making healthier choices, but also on efforts by the health care community to focus on primary prevention, and on policy makers to strengthen their support of access to quality medical and mental health care, healthier food choices, and opportunities for safe and active lifestyles.



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Cover of 2012 Report Card


Meet the Sponsors and Advisory Panel for the 2012 Tennessee Men's Health Report Card


Vanderbilt Institute for Medicine and Public Health

Vanderbilt Institute for Clinical and Translational Research

Tennessee Department of Health

Meharry Medical College

Baptist Healing Trust

Middle Tennessee Employee Benefits Council

Tennessee Academy of Family Physicians

Tennessee Academy of Physician Assistants

Tennessee Cancer Coalition

University of Tennessee Knoxville Medical Center Cancer Institute

Vanderbilt University School of Nursing



Chair: David F. Penson, M.D., MPH, Director, Center for Surgical Quality and Health Outcomes, VUMC


F.J. Campbell, M.D., Centennial Medical Center

Tom Christenbery, R.N., PhD., Vanderbilt University School of Nursing

John Cummings, M.D., Tennessee Department of Health, West Regional Office

Mark Dalle-Ave, M.D., Rural Health Services Consortium

Rodney Davis, M.D. Professor of Urologic Oncology, VUMC: Veterans Affairs’ Tennessee Valley Healthcare System

Wes Dean, M.D., Tennessee Academy of Family Physicians

Jay Fowke, PhD., MPH, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology, Institute for Medicine and Public Health

Ingrid Hall, PhD., Health Services Research Team, Centers for Disease Control

Darlene Jenkins, DrPH., National Health Care for the Homeless Council

Paul Juarez, PhD., Meharry Medical College

David Kirschke, M.D., Tennessee Department of Health, Northeast Regional Office

Mike Leventhal, Director, Tennessee Men’s Health Network

Samuel MacMaster, PhD. Associate Professor, UT School of Social Work

Harvey Murff, M.D., MPH, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Institute for Medicine and Public Health

Ellen Omohundro, PhD., Office of Policy, Planning and Assessment, Tennessee Department of Health

H. Kelley Riley, M.D., Corporate Medical Director, BCBST

Reverend Kenneth Robinson, M.D., Pastor, St. Andrew AME Church, Memphis; Former Commissioner, Tennessee Department of Public Health

Christianne Roumie, M.D., MPH,  Institute for Medicine and Public Health and Veterans Affairs’ Tennessee Valley Healthcare System

Pablo Saavedra, M.D.,  Vanderbilt Heart and Vascular Institute

Kenneth D. Ward, PhD.,  University of Memphis School of Public Health

W. Bedford Waters, M.D.,  UT-Knoxville Medical Center

Roger Zoorob, M.D., MPH, Chair,  Meharry Medical College

Ex-Officio Members :

Gordon R. Bernard, M.D., Assistant Vice-Chancellor for Research, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Katherine E. Hartmann, M.D., PhD, Deputy Director, Institue for Medicine and Public Health