In a recent survey conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of Orlando Health, it was found that many American men believe they are generally healthier than other men, and don’t need to worry about scheduling an annual checkup with their doctor.
Of the 900 men (18 and older) who completed the online survey, 65 percent view themselves as healthier than other men, and 33 percent believe annual health screenings are unnecessary.
“The most important reason to get a routine annual screening is the early detection of medical conditions,” said Wei Li, DO, a family medicine physician with Hartford HealthCare Medical Group. “A good number of these conditions won’t immediately be harmful, but can have serious implications if left unmanaged.”
According to Dr. Li, routine blood work (which is checked annually) can screen for a variety of serious health conditions, including diabetes, high cholesterol, thyroid issues, low blood count (anemia), liver, gallbladder or even kidney issues. Additionally, blood pressure checks are conducted at every annual screening, and can help protect against many chronic medical conditions, including coronary artery disease, heart attack, congestive heart failure, kidney disease and stroke.
Even if you’re feeling fine and aren’t experiencing any health issues, it’s still important to continue visiting your primary care provider for annual exams. Your doctor can work with you to develop healthcare goals tailored specifically to your needs, as well as strategies for achieving them. As your provider continues to gain a greater knowledge of your health, they can offer more personalized care to help you live a healthier, happier life.
According to the survey, 38 percent of respondents also indicated that they regularly get health advice from social media. With the increasing spread of misinformation and untrustworthy sources online, relying on these social platforms can be unsafe.
“While there is certainly some good information on social media put out by creditable sources like physicians, physicians assistants and nutritionists, the majority are from unreputable sources that follow trends about health and fitness,” warns Dr. Li. “Because it is unregulated and unchecked, social media is very susceptible to misinformation.”