A new study by The Harris Poll on behalf of Orlando Health has found that men are more likely to skip a simple but very important step in a healthy lifestyle – an annual check-up with a doctor.
The survey showed that a third of men (33%) do not believe that they need annual medical examinations, and almost two-thirds (65%) believe that they are naturally healthier than other people. It’s statistically impossible, says Dr. Thomas Kelly, family medicine specialist at Orlando Health Physician Associates.
“Even if you think you’re healthy and don’t experience any symptoms, problems can develop that often go unnoticed and can be life-threatening if left unchecked. Some of these include high blood pressure, which can be a heart attack time bomb.” or stroke, as well as colon cancer, which is one of the most deadly yet preventable types of cancer.”
As a primary care physician, Dr. Kelly has heard many excuses from his male patients about why they miss appointments. He believes that the root cause is often fear.
“If you’re a man and haven’t been to a doctor in a while, you don’t know what to expect,” says Dr. Kelly. “One of the main things that makes it less intimidating is a good relationship with the primary care physician and most men find the process easier than they thought. It takes about half an hour and by the end of the appointment you have a general picture of what you are doing, what is your risk and what you need to do for your health in the future”
Kelly says that establishing a trusting relationship with a doctor can reduce nervousness and make the conversation comfortable, which often builds confidence to return. But first, doctors need to get patients to walk in the door. The study found that 38 percent of men often get medical advice from social media, which can be extremely problematic without reputable medical sources.
Almost two out of five men admit that they pay more attention to the health of their pet than their own. This doesn’t surprise Kelly, who says that by taking care of yourself first, you can ensure that other people in your life are also taken care of. It is never too late to have scheduled check-ups and examinations. However, starting as early as possible is the key to taking control of your health.
Combining annual check-ups with regular exercise, a balanced diet, drinking plenty of water, and finding ways to reduce stress can greatly improve your overall health.
“It’s much easier to go to the doctor for a checkup once a year to make sure you don’t develop diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart problems than to end up in the intensive care unit for heart bypass surgery because you didn’t it’s attention,” says Dr. Kelly.
This survey was conducted online in the United States by Harris Poll and commissioned by Orlando Health from May 9 to May 11, 2022 to 893 US male adults aged 18 years and older.