New Survey Finds Majority of Men Avoid Preventive Health Measures

June is Men's Health Month

Jun 19, 2007, 01:00 ET from American Academy of Family Physicians

    LEAWOOD, Kan., June 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- From skipping
 important health screenings to avoiding a visit to the doctor altogether,
 new results from a survey released by the American Academy of Family
 Physicians (AAFP) indicate men continue to fall short when it comes to
 managing their personal health.
     (Photo: )
     The AAFP recently surveyed 2,282 men and women across the country about
 their health behaviors.
     Among the findings:
     -- More than half (55%) of all men surveyed have not seen their primary
        care physician for a physical exam within the past year.
     -- Four in 10 (42%) men have been diagnosed with at least one of the
        following chronic conditions: high blood pressure (28%), heart disease
        (8%), arthritis (13%), cancer (8%) or diabetes (10%).
     -- Almost one in five men (18%) 55 years and older have never received the
        recommended screening for colon cancer.
     -- More than one out of four men (29%) say they wait "as long as possible"
        before seeking help when they feel sick or are in pain or are concerned
        about their health.
     -- Despite this, almost 8 in 10 (79%) men describe themselves as in
        "Excellent," "Very Good," or "Good" health.
     Men in the United States may not be as healthy as they say they are.
 The survey showed men spend an average of 19 hours a week watching
 television, and more than four hours a week watching sports, but just
 slightly more than one- third (38%) of men exercise on a regular basis.
 And, the CDC estimates, almost three out of four (71%) men are overweight.
     "One of the biggest obstacles to improving the health of men is men
 themselves," said Rick Kellerman, M.D., President of the AAFP. "They don't
 make their health a priority. Fortunately, 78 percent of the men with a
 spouse or significant other surveyed say their spouse or significant other
 has some influence over their decision to go to the doctor."
     Family physicians focus on prevention and the early detection of
 illness by treating the whole person and the whole family -- men, women,
 children, and the elderly. Family physicians provide routine check-ups,
 health-risk assessments, immunizations, screening tests and personalized
 counseling on healthy lifestyle choices. They also manage chronic illnesses
 and coordinate care, when appropriate, with other specialists.
     "Many men are unaware that simple screening tests and lifestyle changes
 can dramatically improve their quality of life," Kellerman said. "Family
 physicians are well equipped to address men's physical, mental and
 emotional health concerns and provide the medical guidance necessary to
 keep them in the best of health."
     For more information on men's health and other family health topics,
 please visit
     About the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP)
     Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents nearly 94,000 physicians and
 medical students nationwide. It is the only medical society devoted solely
 to primary care.
     Nearly one in four of all office visits are made to family physicians.
 That is 207 million office visits each year -- nearly 62 million more than
 to the next medical specialty. Today, family physicians provide the
 majority of care for America's underserved and rural populations.
     In the increasingly fragmented world of health care where many medical
 specialties limit their practice to a particular organ, disease, age or
 sex, family physicians are dedicated to treating the whole person across
 the full spectrum of ages. Family medicine's cornerstone is an ongoing,
 personal patient-physician relationship focused on integrated care.
     To learn more about the American Academy of Family Physicians and about
 the specialty of family medicine, please visit
     Survey Methodology
     This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris
 Interactive(R) on behalf of the American Academy of Family Physicians
 between April 30 and May 2, 2007, among 2,282 adults (aged 18 and older)
 1111 of which were men. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education,
 region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them
 into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score
 weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.
 With a pure probability sample of 2,282, one could say with a ninety-five
 percent probability that the overall results would have a sampling error of
 +/- 5 percentage points. Sampling error for data based on sub-samples would
 be higher and would vary. However, that does not take other sources of
 error into account. This online survey is not based on a probability sample
 and therefore no theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

SOURCE American Academy of Family Physicians