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Younger Men Not Going to the Doctor Enough, Survey Shows

THURSDAY, Oct. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Less than 63 percent of American men under the age of 30 have visited a primary-care physician in the past year, compared with more than 85 percent of men 60 or older, a new men's health survey shows.

Lack of health insurance and not needing to go were the most common reasons given for not seeing a doctor, found the online poll of 1,027 respondents conducted by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA).

"While older men may have more reasons to see a physician, younger, healthy men who wait too long between routine physicals and who pass on screenings, such as blood pressure or diabetes, miss the opportunity to detect precursors to heart disease and other illnesses. Addressing these early warning signs is often the easiest and most cost-effective way to stop illness before it starts," Dr. Joseph A. Giaimo, an internist and pulmonologist in Florida, said in an AOA news release.

Among the other findings:

  • Men aged 60 and older were much more likely than those aged 18 to 29 to have a designated primary-care physician -- 88.3 percent vs. 70.1 percent.
  • Only 31.6 percent of men aged 18 to 29 said they see a physician more than once a year.
  • Only 51.5 percent of all the men in the survey said they have visited a physician specialist at least one time or more in the past two years, and about 24.8 percent said they've never visited a specialist.

The findings were announced this week at the AOA's Osteopathic Medical Conference and Exposition in San Francisco.

More information

The U.S. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion explains how men can take charge of their health.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: American Osteopathic Association, news release, Oct. 25, 2010

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