“I know why men don’t like coming to see me,” explained Dr. Eli Pendleton, a family medicine doctor with UofL Physicians. “Men have a certain attitude, ‘Why should I go to the doctor?’ They associate the doctor with things they don’t want to do.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that women are twice as likely as men to visit the doctor for annual examinations and preventive services. According to Dr. Pendleton, what is unfortunate about that statistic is that many of the causes of death in men are preventable. In 2010, the CDC listed the top 10 causes of death for men as heart disease, cancer, unintentional injuries, chronic lower respiratory disease, stroke, diabetes, suicide, Alzheimer’s disease, kidney disease, flu and pneumonia.
“We live in coronary valley,” Dr. Pendleton said. “Look at how many of the top 10 causes of death revolve around heart disease. In many cases, men smoke, drink and eat more, and see the doctor less.”
But men need not fret according to Dr. Pendleton. He said men simply need to engage in preventative maintenance. “I encourage men to take care of themselves like they do the people and things that are important to them. A visit to my office doesn’t mean I’m going to poke and prod. We’re going to talk about your health and I’m going to put the responsibility back at my patient’s feet. We aren’t bulletproof. Our choices will catch-up with us.”
Dr. Pendleton suggests that the top keys to wellness are: