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Keeping Well

Back to Summer 2022

What you should know about men's health

Women tend to live longer than men. And not only do men often live shorter lives than women, they live with more chronic illness. Although women see doctors more regularly, men cost our society more for medical care after the age of 65 than women (Harvard Medical School). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most women are diligent about seeking regular, preventive medical care, like yearly physicals and screenings. But why?

Research has shown the answer to be a complex mixture of biological, social and behavioral factors.

Biology. Men's hormones and metabolism may lead them to be more susceptible to some diseases. They may also be more prone to risky and aggressive behavior.

Social. Stress from work and a lack of social networks and support tend to lead to more illness. Men are less likely to discuss feelings and problems. In fact, the top three discussion topics for men tend to be sports, their jobs and money. There is a lack of communication around health with their peers.

Behavior. This is a big influence on their health. Men tend to participate in riskier behavior from a young age, such as smoking, alcohol and drug abuse, and firearm use. These behaviors contribute to a higher mortality rate.

Why don't men get care?

When asked why they don't see doctors regularly, the top three responses are:

  • I am too busy.
  • I am afraid they may find something serious.
  • The exams are uncomfortable.

Oddly enough, when asked why they went to the doctor, the most common answer was, "My partner was nagging me to go."

How can men live longer? Starting at an early age, boys need to be encouraged to practice healthier behaviors. This will help them express their feelings and develop care-taking skills.

As for men: Please go see your health care provider! You can find a great one at the VVRMC Rural Health Clinic. Give them a call at 830.768.9200.

Categories: Men's health

Schedule an appointment

Just call the VVRMC Rural Health Clinic at 830.768.9200—they'll take great care of you.