SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The month of June is dedicated to bringing awareness to men’s health and encouraging men to practice making healthy lifestyle decisions.

Studies have shown women tend to live longer than men. One study stated women’s life span is almost 8% longer than men’s life span. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the average American man will live to age 76, while the average woman in America will live to age 81. Women can also expect to be healthier than men in their senior years.

This gap is due to a combination of biological and social differences. Men’s hormone testosterone has been linked to a decrease in their immune system and risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Joshua Wolfe, a doctor at Missouri Ozarks Community Health, said there is another factor in this gap.

“I think our society encourages men to be tough, but we are as human as the women are,” said Dr. Wofle.

Men are also linked to risky behavior such as smoking, drinking, and unhealthy eating. Studies also show that if men are diagnosed with a disease they are less likely than women to follow their doctor’s advice.

Dr. Wolfe said the best thing men can do is visit their doctor at least once a year.

“We expect our trucks to be tough and functional but we still change the oil and take care of problems as they arise,” said Dr. Wolfe. “If men are supposed to be tough and take on the world it makes sense to put a reasonable investment by seeing physicians regularly.”

Dr. Wolfe also said if you are seeing a physician regularly and you start to show signs of high blood pressure or cardiovascular disease there are preventative measures such as exercise or dieting. If someone waits until after they start showing symptoms irreversible damage could already be taking place inside the body.