Monday 25 September 2017

Men and millennials: if you feel sick, see a GP - Googling or putting it off won't save your life

GPs are increasingly opting to charge for the blood tests and advise patients who do not want to pay that they can get the service free in their hospital instead (Stock picture)
GPs are increasingly opting to charge for the blood tests and advise patients who do not want to pay that they can get the service free in their hospital instead (Stock picture)
Sinead Moriarty

Sinead Moriarty

What is it about men that makes them view a visit to the doctor with a mixture of fear and fatalism? A new report out in the UK, by consultancy Health2020, says that a third of people delay appointments with their GPs, with middle-aged men being the worst culprits.

The main reason found for avoiding the doctor is fear of finding out something awful is wrong. Other reasons include the dread of being physically examined, fear of treatment, looking weak and that treatment may lead to sexual dysfunction.

In Ireland, men are unhealthier than women and die, on average, five years earlier. They tend to have unhealthier lifestyles and go to the doctor only when their symptoms have become acute. More men here die from heart disease, cancers and suicide than women. Men still feel that it's somehow 'stoic' to battle on through pain and put off visiting the doctor until they are in a bad way and it may be too late.

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