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‘A ticking time bomb’: Survey finds many men don’t get annual physicals

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Undetected or ignored health problems can become life-threatening, researchers are warning after 1 out of 3 men in a recent survey said they don’t need annual checkups.

The Harris Poll survey of nearly 900 men, commissioned by Orlando Health and conducted in May, also found that 2 out of 3 believe they’re generally healthier than most other men.

“It is statistically impossible for the majority of men to be healthier than the majority of men,” Thomas Kelley, family medicine specialist at Orlando Health Physician Associates, said in a hospital press release. “Even if you think you’re healthy and you’re not experiencing any symptoms, there can be developing issues that often go unnoticed and can also be life-threatening if left unchecked. Some of those include rising blood pressure that can be a ticking time bomb for a heart attack or stroke, as well as colon cancer, which is one of the most deadly, yet preventable, cancers that exist.”

Kelley urges men to establish a relationship with a primary care physician. This can help ease the “fear of the unknown” – an underlying reason why many men avoid the doctor’s office, he said.

 

“Most men find the process to be easier than they thought,” Kelley said. “It takes about half an hour, and by the end of the appointment, you have the big picture about where you stand, what you’re at risk for and what you need to do for your health in the future.”

He emphasizes that more men need to make annual health screenings a priority. Case in point, 38% of the respondents indicated they put their pet’s health ahead of their own.

“Men tend to put their health last after their family, and apparently even after their dog or their cat,” Kelley said. “But in order to take care of others in your life, you first have to take care of yourself, and that includes making that yearly appointment with your primary care doctor.”

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