Men, have you noticed that you visit the doctor less often than many other people? Women, have you noticed this about your husband? It’s true. Statistics show that men visit their doctor for wellness exams much less frequently than women.
You might think this happens because men are healthier, and therefore don’t need to see a doctor as often. But in fact, the opposite is true; men are at greater risk of death in every age group. Men die, on average, five years before women. And men are disproportionately affected by nine of the top ten causes of death.
Those are just some of the reasons that June is designated as Men’s Health Month. For many reasons, men tend not to schedule check-ups with a doctor as frequently as women do. This can mean that serious health conditions are not discovered until they have already progressed to advanced stages, when they are harder to treat and are more likely to become deadly.
This month, we urge you to take a moment to schedule a check-up with your primary care physician, if you haven’t already done so this year. While you’re there, discuss these topics with your doctor:
- Preventive screenings – are you due for preventive screenings, for prostate health, colon health, and so on?
- Your weight – are you at increased risk of any health conditions due to your weight?
- Nutrition – should you make dietary changes for better health?
- Exercise – what forms of exercise are safe for you, and are you getting enough?
- Lifestyle factors – do you smoke or drink regularly? Does your doctor recommend any resources to help you quit?
- Occupational hazards – do you work in, or did you retire from, a field with known occupational risks? Should you undergo additional screening procedures to address these risks?
- Is it time for a check-up with your dentist? What about a vision screening?
The above is just a list of suggested topics. Your doctor will probably have additional recommendations for you. The point is to take notice if you’ve neglected to schedule regular appointments, and get your healthcare schedule back on track.