For many men, the fast pace of modern life can force health to take a backseat to other priorities says AMA Victoria President Dr Stephen Parnis.
“Some men feel uncomfortable or ill equipped to deal with health concerns and have tendency not to seek help until it is too late” said Dr Parnis.
“Australian men suffer high rates of heart disease and stroke, as well as lung cancer, prostate cancer, cancer of the intestines and diabetes. Mental illness in men is also becoming more widely diagnosed”.
“Chances of developing chronic conditions increase with age, so no matter how healthy you think you are, it’s important to remain vigilant”.
Dr Parnis said that some men have a tendency to avoid the doctor and to overlook what they consider to be minor health concerns.
“It’s important for men not to ignore symptoms and talk with their GP if they have any concerns. Men should ensure that they get a check up frequently”.
“Routine check ups can pick up any potential issues early in the piece, you should be sure to have your blood pressure, urine and cholesterol checked, it is also important to talk to your doctor about your family’s medical history”.
Dr Parnis called on men to accept their susceptibility to stress and mental health issues.
“Don’t overlook your mental health. Stress can impact on your health, particularly if you’re not sleeping well, eating a nutritious diet or getting enough down time”.
“One alarming statistic about men’s health is that men take their own lives at four times the rate of women, we think that this may have something to do with their unwillingness to seek help for these types of problems”.
“If you’re over stressed or depressed, talk to your GP about it, they can help”.
“Greater awareness and acceptance of mental health issues will help save lives” said Dr Parnis.
Life expectancy for men in Australia is lower than for women. Boys suffer more illness, more accidents and die earlier than their female counterparts.
Men’s Health Awareness Week runs from 11 to 17 June.