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According to New Survey, Most Men are Not Proactive about Their Health Despite the Desire to Live Long Lives
Date:9/12/2012

NEW YORK, Sept. 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- According to a recent national survey of more than 2,000 men, 52 percent say they usually see a doctor when something needs to be "fixed," and the majority (63 percent) report that prolonged, severe pain is the main "breaking point" for when they will visit the doctor – bleeding, vomiting or itching alone won't drive most men to see a doctor. Avoiding the doctor until a problem develops can be a risky approach to one's health and can have potentially serious consequences. To encourage men to take a more proactive approach to their personal health, Abbott has launched Drive for Five (http://www.driveforfive.com), a multifaceted, disease education and men's health awareness initiative.

As part of the campaign, Abbott partnered with Men's Health Network to sponsor and conduct one of the largest men's health assessments to date to uncover insights into the attitudes of men when it comes to seeking medical advice. The survey found that most men take a casual approach to their health. In fact, 61 percent of men say they are "semi-proactive about health," responding to medical emergencies when needed and admittedly are not proactive about annual doctor visits and preventative medicine.

Fear and Anxiety

  • Close to half (46 percent) of men surveyed said doctor visits make them nervous, anxious or scared.
    • Fifty percent admitted that their biggest fear before going to the doctor is finding out they have a serious health problem.
    • Most of the men surveyed say they hope to live well into their 80s or beyond, but slightly more than half (51 percent) say they are worried about their health right now and less than one-in-three men describes his overall health as "excellent."

"What is clear from the survey findings is that there is an emotional barrier to going to the doctor, and it is important that we encourage men to be more proactive about their health and have productive conversations with their doctors," said Dr. Steven Lamm, New York University School of Medicine, and Drive for Five campaign spokesperson. "Men need to have annual check-ups and be aware of the serious health risks that may affect them."

Pay Closer Attention

  • Even though 69 percent of men surveyed say they have had a check-up or wellness screening in the past year, the survey found that most men still lack knowledge about important health issues.
    • Only one in three men are "very knowledgeable" about the health impact of high blood pressure and glucose levels.
    • Fewer still are "very knowledgeable" about caloric intake, the impact of a high-sodium diet, and the possible implications of high prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels.

"The results of this survey underscore the need for an initiative like Drive for Five to really speak to men about the importance of paying attention to their health," said Scott Williams, vice president, Men's Health Network.

The Power of Two

  • More than one-third of men report that a spouse or significant other is the most powerful motivator in their decision to see a doctor.
    • Men in relationships are more likely to have a primary care physician, visit a doctor at least once a year for a wellness check-up and are generally less reluctant to schedule their own doctor's appointments.

"It's no surprise that I am proactive about caring for my cars by planning ahead in order to avoid problems down the road. But like most men, when it comes to my health, I definitely benefit from a little motivation from my spouse," said legendary racecar driver Terry Labonte, also a Drive for Five campaign spokesperson. "The Drive for Five initiative helps put men on the right track by providing easy to understand information and materials about possible risks to their health, and encouraging men to talk to their doctors about health concerns."

For more information on the survey and to learn more about the Drive for Five campaign, visit www.DriveforFive.com.

About the Survey
Men's Health Network and Abbott commissioned Yankelovich Inc., a part of the Futures Company, to conduct a national online survey to assess men's knowledge about their health and identify men's attitudes toward seeking medical advice. Survey topics included health concerns, proactive behaviors, attitudes about going to a doctor, knowledge of health issues, and perceptions about women's approach to health. Survey results were obtained through online interviews of 2,002 men 18 years of age or older. Interviews took place from June 20-28, 2012.

About Drive for Five
Drive for Five (http://www.driveforfive.com) is a disease education and men's health awareness initiative that aims to educate the public about five important health risks for men – high cholesterol, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high PSA and low testosterone – and encourage men to take a more proactive approach to their health by giving them information that may help them have more productive conversations with their doctors during annual check-ups. 

About Men's Health Network
Men's Health Network (MHN) is a national non-profit organization whose mission is to reach men and their families where they live, work, play and pray with health prevention messages and tools, screening programs, educational materials, advocacy opportunities and patient navigation. For more information on Men's Health Network, visit www.menshealthnetwork.org.

About Abbott
Abbott (NYSE: ABT) is a global, broad-based health care company devoted to the discovery, development, manufacture and marketing of pharmaceuticals and medical products, including nutritionals, devices and diagnostics. The company employs approximately 91,000 people and markets its products in more than 130 countries.

Abbott's news releases and other information are available on the company's website at www.abbott.com.


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