WEDNESDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- As a general rule, men
take lousy care of their health.
They shrug off injuries. They hate going to the doctor for
anything. They pay little heed to warning signs for major health
And the results of all that manliness are evident in the
statistics. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human
Men overall are less healthy and have a shorter life span than
women, according to the Men's Health Network, a national nonprofit
group that promotes healthy living for men. And more than half of
all premature deaths among men are preventable.
"Men are leading in nine out of the top 10 causes of death," said Scott Williams, vice president of the network. "I feel like we're starting behind where health is concerned, compared to women."
The main way men can improve the length and quality of their
lives, Williams said, is to start taking a personal interest in
"If you look at the data, women are 100 percent more likely than men to seek preventative care," he said. "It's really scary."
The first step is to schedule an appointment with a doctor for a
full physical examination. "A tremendous percentage of men do not
see the doctor," said Armin Brott, a talk-show host and author who
co-wrote the Blueprint for Men's Health for the Men's Health
And when meeting with the doctor, be sure to ask questions. Ask
what tests and screenings are appropriate for a man your age, and
what are your potential risk factors for major diseases.
Men should also bring up any long-term problems they have, no
matter how embarrassing or private the problem might be. And
experts agree that men need to be brutally honest about such things
as erectile dysfunction, drinking and smoking because doctors can't
do their jobs unless they have a complete picture of their male
"You've just got to suck it up and talk about it because it can be a symptom of something more important," Brott said.
Other tips from Men's Health Network for preparing for a
Men should also do a little research on their own to learn the
warning signs of health problems so they can be on the lookout for
"I think a lot of guys don't pay any attention to anything," Brott said. "It's important to understand the risk factors for stress, depression, prostate problems, bladder problems, back problems. It's important to do a little bit of reading."
Beyond that, try to create and then follow a healthy lifestyle
Think of it this way: Men ought to start taking care of their
bodies as well as they take care of their cars. "If we're going to
bend this curve, that's where we need to start," Williams said.
The U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has more
questions men should ask their doctor.
For more on men's health, read about
one man's approach.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Copyright © EBSCO Publishing. All rights reserved.