A health expert explains why men tend to die younger than women
SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) — June is Men’s Health Awareness Month, and for some men it can be hard to admit it’s time to see a doctor. However, this delay can often lead to more problems down the line.
According to a finding from Harvard Medical School, sex box people live longer. But decade after decade, women continue to overtake men, with the gap wider now than it was a century ago. Men die younger than women, but they are more burdened with disease during their lifetime.
These results also showed that American men are about four times more likely to be affected by gout, they are more than three times likely to develop kidney stones, become alcoholics or have bladder cancer. Why is it?
KSLA spoke with Dr. EJ Mayeaux, Jr., Senior Associate Dean for Population Health and Primary Care at LSU Health Shreveport, who said there is a combination of reasons why men tend to go to the doctor less often.
“Certainly in men, there can be a stigma, related to the ‘Superman Syndrome’. Oh, you can’t be weak, you have to be strong. So do anything to make yourself feel better or admit that you need help goes against that kind of stigma,” he said.
Mayeaux said other reasons include fear of diagnosis, lack of time available to see a doctor, and vulnerability, which can make it easier to ignore what’s going on instead of acknowledging it.
“Someone can have chest pain for years. If they had come earlier, we could have changed their risk factors, we could have potentially helped them reverse some of that heart disease. If the first time I see you is when you had a heart attack, I can’t save that piece of heart muscle that died. Here we go,” he said.
There are ways to break the stigma if you are a man and find yourself in this difficult situation. There are also ways for others to support the men in their lives who need help.
- Get a primary care physician.
- Sign up for annual appointments with them. That way, if something is wrong, it can be found early.
- Do not delay if you notice any problem in your body. Make an appointment the same day.
“If you do the prevention that science has shown us prevents disease and prolongs quality of life, then everyone can benefit. We just have to convince men that they are just as important as everyone else to get this care,” Mayeaux said.
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