Macho Macho Man

Macho Macho Man

Men’s health.  What does this statement conjure up in your mind?  A Cialis commercial?  Hair Club for Men?  Advertising for razors and athlete’s foot powder?  As a feminist, I will be the first to point out that so much of our culture is dominated by men.  Everything from salaries, sports, employment, you name it, is skewed towards our male population.  Women have made tremendous progress, but still a ways to go!  However, there is one area of our society and culture where women really get the spotlight these days, and that happens to be in medicine.  I think this happens for a lot of reasons.  Men historically have always been taught to be “tough guys,” and so often do not seek out medical care as frequently.  There also has been so much publicity in recent years for women’s health issues like Breast Cancer.  Women are a somewhat captive audience, since starting at a young age we see a gynecologist at least every couple of years.  Additionally, women are often the members of the household who are “in charge” of healthcare decisions, like which pediatrician to use, which over the counter medications are purchased, and even decisions about care of elderly parents.  Advertisers and marketers know this, and so much of the advertising that we see in health care is subtly skewed towards a female audience.

So, it’s time for the all the men out there to get on board, and start taking more control of their own health!  The truth is, women are longer lived than men, and men often die at younger ages of preventable diseases.  Let’s look at some statistics:

Top 5 causes of death in Men in the US:

  1. Heart Disease
  2. Cancer
  3. Accidental death
  4. COPD/emphysema
  5. Stroke


Percentage of men with:

  1. High blood pressure:  32%
  2. Obesity 34%
  3. Problem drinking: 18%
  4. Tobacco use 19%
  5. Minimal exercise 48%


The majority of the health problems above are associated with leading causes of death, the one exception being accidental death.  So, if we could get more men to be pro-active about their health and get routine screenings done, I think we would all agree that the men in our lives would be in better shape!  So, what are the recommended screenings and preventive care for men?

  1. Blood pressure should be checked at least every two years in men over 40
  2. Cholesterol levels should be checked at least every 5 years in men over 35
  3. Blood sugar levels should be checked at least every 3 years in men over 45
  4. Low dose aspirin should be considered in men over the age of 50
  5. Screening for colon cancer (typically with colonoscopy) should be done starting at age 50 (sooner if there is a family history)
  6. Eye exam should be done every 2-3 years
  7. Dental exams/cleanings should be done every 6 months
  8. Screening for prostate cancer should be discussed starting at age 50
  9. Routine immunizations should be performed, including flu shot every year, and Tetanus booster every 10 years. Adults over 60 can have shingles vaccine, and adults over 65 should have the pneumonia vaccine series.
  10. Routine Preventive Exam with your doctor should be performed at least every 2 years over the age of 40. Your doctor will talk to you about weight, screen you for alcohol and tobacco use, talk about mental health symptoms, and counsel about healthy eating and exercise.
  11. Screening for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm should be done in men over 65 with any history of smoking, or who have a family history of this disease. This is done with an ultrasound.
  12. Screening for Lung Cancer with a Low-dose CT scan can be considered in men with a smoking history.
  13. EKG screening should be done at ages 50 and 65

Of course, there are situations when the above screenings would be done sooner, or more frequently, as in the case of a family history of certain diseases, or with symptoms that develop.  Men under the age of 40 can typically see their doctor every 5 years or so for a routine check and as needed in between for symptoms.

So, ladies, time to get those guys in for their checkups!  A lot of men who come into my office arrive on my doorstep “because my wife told me I needed to come in.”  Doesn’t matter how they get there, as long as they show up!!



This blog is not designed to and does not provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion, treatment or services to you or to any other individual. Through this site and linkages to other sites, we provide general information for educational purposes only. The information provided in this site, or through linkages to other sites, is not a substitute for medical or professional care, and you should not use the information in place of a visit, call consultation or the advice of your physician or other healthcare provider. Pretty Gritty Girls is not liable or responsible for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis or any other information, services or product you obtain through this site.

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