Men are 33% less likely to see a doctor than women
When it comes to staying fit, sharp and at the top of your game, the buck stops with you. The good news is, the leading health threats that men face are largely preventable.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in men, accounting for one in every four deaths. After that, the top killers for men are lung, prostate and colorectal cancers, says the CDC.
Despite these facts, men are 33 percent less likely than women to have visited a doctor within the past year, according to the CDC.
“It’s more natural for women to seek general health checkups because most are already established patients of an OB/GYN,” says Dr. Jenny Franke, Chief Clinical Officer at Mercy Health – Lourdes Hospital. “However, men often don’t perceive the need until they’re having problems. At that point, they may have undiagnosed high blood pressure, diabetes or an elevated PSA. The window of opportunity to screen for early health problems is gone, and they’ve already developed complications of the disease.”
The importance of seeing a primary care physician
No matter your age, getting established with a primary care provider is the first step. Yearly appointments with a primary care provider can help catch medical issues before they become costly and difficult to treat. Annual appointments include screenings for blood pressure, body mass index, diabetes, physical exam, cholesterol, and social history assessment (tobacco and alcohol use, sexual activity).
Your primary care provider can also help to make sure you’re up-to-date on the appropriate annual screenings for your age and family history, such as a colorectal screening and rectal exam or prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test.
Additional men’s health tips:
- If you smoke, there is no better time to quit than now. Smoking is the major cause of heart disease and lung cancer.
- Diet and nutrition. Enjoy a variety of healthy foods daily, including at least five servings of fruits and vegetables. Choose lean meats, low-fat dairy products and whole grains. Limit foods high in salt, fat and sugar.
- De-stress your life. Talk to your doctor if you’re feeling depressed or anxious, or if you’re being threatened or hurt by someone.
- Aim to be physically active for 30-60 minutes on most days. Walk the dog, bike or take the stairs — it all counts!
If you need to be connected to a primary care physician in Ohio or Kentucky, our team can help. Reach out to find a caring, compassionate physician near you today.