Health & Family

Macho attitude puts men at risk

When it comes to health care, millions of men are unnecessarily risking their lives every day in defense of their own bullheadedness.

Even excluding pregnancy-related doctor visits, women were 33 percent more likely than men to visit a doctor, although the difference decreased with age, according to a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics. The study also found that the rate of doctor visits for such reasons as annual examinations and preventive services was 100 percent higher for women than for men.

“Women tend to get plugged into regular doctor visits through obstetric care, where men don't tend to get that experience early on and don't get into a regular routine,” said Dr. Alwin Steinmann, associate professor of medicine at Albany Medical Center. “Men tend to be more intervention driven than prevention driven.”

One underlying reason behind the unwillingness of men to see a doctor is generations of social conditioning, in which men are taught to be macho and that there is something inherently weak about seeing a doctor when they feel perfectly fine, according to an article posted on by Dr. Susan Jewell on how to get a man to see a doctor.

Jewell also wrote that other roadblocks that keep men away from doctors include fear, ignorance and denial, even when they suspect they may have symptoms.