Keeping Your Man Healthy

According to a recent survey by Men’s Health magazine and CNN, one-third of American men haven’t had a checkup in the past year and 9 million men haven’t seen a doctor in the last five years!

For women, who visit doctors at a much higher rate, this statistic is puzzling. An American Medical Association study in 1990 found that men don’t go to the doctor because of fear, denial, embarrassment, and threatened masculinity. And these factors are unrelated to occupation, age, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, or IQ!

OldDrOffice_DennisCarr

Credit @Flickr: Dennis Carr

So what is a woman to do to ensure her man’s continued health? Here are just a few suggestions:

  • Remember that men’s issues can be embarrassing and threatening to their manhood so always approach your man with the utmost sensitivity.
  • Gently share your information via an article or book where your man can read it and consider it in his own time. It’s easier to be the “messenger”!
  • Schedule a doctor visit for him but make sure he is comfortable with your choice. Many men are uncomfortable with female doctors.
  • Help him prepare for his doctor visit by ensuring that he has a complete family and personal medical history and has written down his questions. (Women ask an average of 4 questions per doctor visit. Men? None.)
  • Consider going with him to this appointment if he will let you.
  • Become a partner in initiating good health practices for the both of you. Teamwork provides support and motivation!

Here are some startling facts about men’s health:

  • Each year, regardless of age, men make 150 million fewer trips to doctors than women.
  • One in nine men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, yet few will have the easy and painless digital rectal exam and prostate specific antigen blood test to detect it (women, facing similar odds of breast cancer, are much more likely to examine their breasts regularly and have a mammogram).
  • Men are at greater risk of stress-related illnesses than women, yet only 20 percent of the people in the typical stress-management program are men.
  • Men are 30 percent more likely than women to have a stroke.

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