As a person ages, they inevitably begin to encounter more health issues than they did when they were young. Contrary to what some men may think, yes, it happens to them, too. It is widely acknowledged that men take considerably fewer trips to the doctor than women, and are much more likely to forgo the yearly checkup with a primary care physician than women are.
However, as we will unfortunately see, men may have even more reasons to prioritize their annual physical. If you are a male over 30, here are some key reasons why you should get to the doctor at least once per year.
Men Have a Lower Life Expectancy
According to the CDC, women live an average of five years longer than men in the United States. What accounts for this sizable gap? For one, men put themselves in harm’s way to a much higher degree. Men are multiples more likely to work dangerous jobs such as construction, mining, firefighting, and military service. Men also develop psychologically later in life as compared to women, leading to a much higher percentage of young adult men engaging in violence, drug use, and driving under the influence.
But one-time events are not the only aspect to blame for the age disparity – men are also, on average, less socially connected than women. Research shows that meaningful social community is correlated with longer life.
Men Face Unique Health Challenges
In addition to somewhat self-inflicted challenges, men also face a myriad of risks that are inherent to their lives, through no fault of their own. For example, men are generally larger than women, increasing their risk for heart disease, joint issues, high blood pressure, and falls in old age. Despite the fact that depression is slightly more common in women than men, men are more likely to commit suicide than women. Men are also 50% more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease and are at higher risk for various other ailments. Diseases such as prostate and testicular cancer also claim thousands of lives per year.
For all these reasons, it is easy to see why an annual wellness check with a primary care doctor can be lifesaving for men.
Many Issues Can Be Detected Early
In medicine, one the best possible outcomes for a disease is early detection. For many diseases or ailments, if the early indicators of a health risk are noticed by a health care provider, there is often enough time to develop a treatment plan to reduce or even eliminate the issue. In some cases, the adjustment can be a simple lifestyle change like getting more sleep or avoiding certain foods. However, as time progresses and diseases take hold, they become more difficult to reverse.
For example, identifying the risk of diabetes based on eating habits and family history can be critical to rerouting towards a healthier life and avoiding the disease. Similarly, for issues such as mild joint pain, measures can be put into place early to avoid stress and misuse, as opposed to identifying the problem years down the line, leaving no other option than a joint replacement.
A simple yearly checkup that covers basic health tests can literally save a man’s life. If you are a man, or you are looking out for one, avoid the temptation to shrug off the doctor’s visit for another year.
Schedule Your Check-Up with Richfield Medical Group
The qualified physicians at Richfield Medical Group would be happy to arrange a wellness check for you. Our staff is dedicated to improving the lives of our patients through best-in-class treatment: we offer in-person visits, as well as telehealth virtual consultations for some services. At Richfield Medical Group, we are ready and able to provide your family with the answers and the care you need. Please call our clinic at 612-861-1622 to schedule your appointment, or visit us online at richfieldmedicalgroup.com to learn more.