Newsroom > DHHS News Release


March 27, 2009

Marla Augustine, Communications and Legislative Services, (402) 471-4047 or


Men’s Health Scorecard Available on DHHS Website

Lincoln – Nebraska men rank high in both prostate and colorectal cancer deaths compared to other men living in rural states, according to the newly published “Nebraska Men’s Health Scorecard,” developed by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

The two-page Scorecard is modeled after NCAA Collegiate Big XII ranking charts, but instead of sports statistics, the Scorecard compares important health data, such as cancer and obesity rates, between male populations living in the seven states that make up the Big XII. In addition to Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado, Iowa, Oklahoma, Texas and Missouri compose the Big XII, with two states having more than one school.

“Nebraska sports fans aspire to be number one in the Big XII, but being number one in healthy behaviors is an even more important goal,” according to Dr. Joann Schaefer, Chief Medical Officer of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.

With a mortality rate of 26 men per 100,000, Nebraska men die from prostate cancer more than other men in Big XII states, according to DHHS. Kansas at 21.5 men per 100,000 has the lowest rate.

“Screening is one of the best ways for men and women to protect themselves against cancer,” said Schaefer. “Colorectal cancer screening is especially effective because it can prevent cancer or find it early.”

Nebraska men have the worst record for colorectal screening in the Big XII, according to DHHS. The death rate among Nebraska men for colon cancer is second highest in the Big XII with 202 deaths in 2006. People over age 50 should contact the Colon Cancer Screening Program for information and assistance with costs.

Additionally, Nebraska men have the highest obesity and overweight percentages in the Big XII. The good news is that Nebraska men can do many things to reduce their risk for weight-related health conditions.

According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), being overweight or obese increases the risk of many diseases and health conditions, including:

  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Heart Disease
  • Stroke

The Office of Men’s Health (OMH) is partnering with the Nebraska Medical Association (NMA) to create one of the first men’s health-centered campaigns in the United States.

In addition to increasing cancer screening testing among men, reducing cancer death rates, and fighting obesity, the OMH will tackle and reduce some of the most deadly yet preventable health conditions that Nebraska men struggle with, such as binge drinking and smoking.

The Men’s Health Scorecard is available for download at For more information contact the Nebraska Office of Men’s Health at (402) 471-3914.

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