Any woman who has been on a car trip with a male driver knows that he won't ask for directions. "I'm not lost, I'm exploring" is a not uncommon explanation. Well, that really doesn't work, since it usually ends up making you late for the wedding, movie, or fill in the blank with another time-sensitive destination. Another thing that men don't seem to do is discuss their health issues with each other — at least according to a survey by the Cleveland Clinic.
This was a telephone survey of 500 men over the age of 18. Over half of them said they just didn't talk about their health. So what do they discuss with their male friends? Here is a list of the most commonly discussed topics:
- Current events, 36 percent
- Sports, 32 percent
- Job-related issues, 32 percent
- Their health, 7 percent
Obviously, men occasionally discuss health issues, but they're usually ones they can brag about — such as straining a muscle while bench-pressing an enormous weight, or an injury acquired while performing a heroic act (getting the neighbor's cat out of a tree?).
In addition, 19 percent of the survey respondents said they visit the doctor to avoid being nagged about it by a loved one, and 40 percent admitted not getting annual checkups. Worse, only 42 percent said they consult their doctor when they're concerned they might have a serious medical issue (maybe if I ignore it, it'll go away?).
And men's knowledge about appropriate ages for various screening tests — prostate cancer, colorectal cancer, heart disease, or high blood pressure — is pretty poor. They typically think the tests should begin later than various expert panels recommend.
Dr. Eric Klein, chairman of Cleveland Clinic’s Glickman Urological & Kidney Institute, commented “Prevention is paramount for a man’s health. Knowing the facts, being proactive and taking advantage of the numerous advancements in healthcare today can make a big difference in a man’s life.”
So listen up guys, health topics shouldn't be taboo between you and your friends. Discussion can lead to timely action and just might help save a life.