Are you the biggest threat to your own health?
Our so-called 'macho' attitudes could be killing 40,000 men a year. That, at least, is the conclusion of some new research by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain (RPSGB).
To help them understand how to encourage men to use pharmacists, the RPSGB commissioned a study of men's attitudes to health. It revealed that 59% of men only seek medical advice if they are 'very ill or in great pain'.
One in seven (14%) said they were afraid of what they might be told. This reluctance to ask for help could contribute towards men's lower life expectancy.
The research showed that almost two in five men (39%) believe that crying during films is not a manly trait, and one in six claimed that revealing a vulnerable side to their partner was a 'not an option for them'.
Men are also reluctant to ask for help - surprise, surprise - when changing a tyre (33%) or requiring directions (13%).
The 40,000 figure comes from comparing death rates. If men died at the same rate as women, about 40,000 fewer men would die each year.
David Pruce, the RPSGB's Director of Policy, said: 'The statistics show that the greatest threat to a man's health is still himself! Men's health has been improving over the last 20 years and this is very much down to a change in habits — men are smoking less and paying much better attention to their diets. What we need now is a change in attitude. Men need to snap out of the "big boys don't cry" mind-set and start taking health problems seriously.
'Men are often reluctant to visit their GP but visit a pharmacy quite regularly to pick up everyday essentials like aftershave, condoms and vitamins. While they are there, guys should speak to their pharmacist and ask them for advice or a health check — it's so easy. There is no need for an appointment and most have private consultation rooms for discreet assessments. It's free and pharmacists will always refer people to a GP if necessary.'
Page created on November 17th, 2008
Page updated on December 1st, 2009