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Cleveland – It’s always better to get out in front of a health problem rather than play catch up once it’s out of control.
But a new survey shows many men wait too long before they mention medical problems to their loved ones, or even their doctors.
According to a new Cleveland Clinic survey, many men don’t see the doctor as often as they should – despite encouragement from their spouse.
“Over 80 percent of women want their spouse to get checked once a year,” said Ryan Berglund, M.D., of Cleveland Clinic. “Over the age of 50 that’s important, but almost a third of our men said they were too healthy to need to get checked.”
More than half of men surveyed prefer to keep health concerns to themselves, but at the very least, Dr. Berglund said men should have a relationship with a primary care physician who can help flag potential medical problems.
“You don’t necessarily need to see the doctor every year early in life, but there are simple things such as checking a family history, history of diet, seeing if there’s anything that needs to be checked more regularly,” said Dr. Berglund. “But, by the age of 50 it really is critical to be seeing a doctor on a regular basis.”
According to the survey, men and their partners are more worried about heart disease than issues ‘below the bel,’ but in some cases, the two may be connected.
“Almost two-thirds of patients that have a heart attack actually have erectile dysfunction, so this can be an early sign, an early window, into problems with the heart,” said Dr. Berglund.
Findings show 6-in-10 men don’t go to the doctor when they need to. Dr. Berglund said it’s critical to stay on top of recommended screenings and to mention troubling symptoms to ensure health issues are caught early when they’re most treatable.
“There are just a number of problems that men will kind of let go until the very abrupt irreversible problem occurs,” said Dr. Berglund. “You want to get to these problems before they turn into a problem where you’re feeling something.”
Dr. Berglund said important screenings include those for colon and prostate cancer; blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose should be checked as well.