Men can start becoming healthier by making a few lifestyle changes

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By: Dr. Raul Perez-Vazquez
Special to the Boca and Delray newspapers

The first thing men need to do to close the life-expectancy gender gap and be healthier is to start going to the doctor.

At the start of summer each year, men receive an influx of reminders on how small changes in their lifestyle can lead to better health.

While men are generally bigger and more muscular than women, they tend to have more health issues. Due to lifestyle risks and a variety of other factors, men typically have a shorter life expectancy than women. According to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), men live to an average life expectancy of 76.1 and women live to 81.1, which is a difference of exactly five years. In 1900, the gender gap difference between men and women was just two-years. What could potentially lead to women being healthier than men?

Women are more likely to visit the doctor for annual examinations and preventive services.

Men are less likely to schedule and attend their doctor appointments and health screenings than women. Health check-ups and wellness visits are facets of preventive medicine. According to the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) the goal of preventive medicine is to promote health and well-being, and to prevent disease, disability, and death. One of the first things men should consider implementing in order to close the life-expectancy gender gap is to go to the doctor regularly.

A visit to the doctor helps in the prevention of ailments and in the management of chronic conditions. Going to the doctor also helps to reassure the patient, or their family, that disease is either nonexistent or under control. A trip to the doctor’s office helps to encourage the patient to move towards a path for disease treatment, if necessary, and follow medical guidance. Regularly going to the doctor can assist in building a relationship with the doctor who will give them more time to assess the patient further and improve the individual’s confidence in medical findings about their health and family history, including genetics.

When it comes to causes of death, men die at a higher rate in almost every major category of diseases and injuries. Why have men lost touch with the things keeping them healthy? There are some lifestyle changes which can help men live a healthier life:

The Healthy Way:

  • Quit smoking
  • Eat a healthier diet
  • Exercise regularly
  • Go to the doctor for wellness visits as well as when an ailment arises
  • Make healthy lifestyle choices

Dr. Raul Perez-Vazquez is an experienced internist specializing in general internal medicine, preventive medicine, cardiovascular disease, geriatric care and hospital medicine. Dr. Perez-Vazquez is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Dr. Perez-Vazquez’s Tenet Florida Physician Services office is located in Boca Raton, FL, and he is on-staff at West Boca Medical Center.