Even without a source to back them up, most people would probably say men are less likely to go to the doctor than women. Lots of women will tell you that they have to take out a cattle prod to get their spouse to go to the doctor. This article says that is is embarrasement that prevents men from going to the doctor, not lack of insurance. So of the people who die “becuase they didn’t have coverage” each year, how many of them are men? I’ve read through several ‘studies’ and while the stats will say “x% of uninsured men were more likely to___,” not once is there anything about men vs. women over all. What I keep seeing is that only favorable statistics are being used. “x% of uninsured women don’t get an annual pap vs. y% (bigger number) of women with insurance who do.” Ok, that’s just a pap, what about seeing the doctor for an STD. They didn’t talk about that. Maybe more uninsured women go to the doctor for STD treatment than women who do have insurance. It would be logical, but would ruin their ‘resutls.’ From the Los Angeles Times, Found on the Military Officer’s Association of America site.
What was Darryl Kile thinking the night before he died? It was widely reported that the St. Louis Cardinals pitcher had complained to his brother of shoulder pain and weakness the evening before he was found dead in his hotel room June 23, at 33. Maybe Kile believed the soreness and fatigue came from overexerting himself on the mound, and so he didn’t recognize classic warning signs of the severely clogged arteries that a coroner later concluded likely had caused his death. Kile’s father had died at 44 of a heart attack and stroke, and one can’t help but wonder why the pitcher hadn’t sought medical attention that evening. We’ll never know, and second-guessing won’t bring back the admired athlete, husband, and father.
Kile’s death does raise anew a question that has long frustrated physicians. Why are men so reluctant to seek medical help? Doctors have known that many guys would rather clean gutters or watch synchronized swimming than schedule an office visit. In March, the journal Neurology reported that more than half of all male migraine sufferers never consult a doctor about their pain, compared to only about a quarter of female patients. A poll in 2000 by the Commonwealth Fund, a New York research group, found that American men are three times more likely than women to go a year without seeing a doctor.
In one sense, these statistics aren’t difficult to understand. Cavemen, presumably, didn’t sit around whining if a saber-toothed tiger chomped their leg. They had to tough it out and protect their clan or risk extinction. Some observers believe that remnants of that mentality persist today.
“It’s inculcated in men that we have to be the breadwinner, have to be strong, can’t acknowledge weakness,” said Harold L. Pass, a psychologist at Stony Brook University Hospital in New York who specializes in male psychology. “As a result, men tend to minimize medical symptoms when they first appear.”
Male foot-dragging is often fueled by embarrassment, experts say. What if there’s really nothing wrong with me? I’ll look like a hypochondriac, or worse, a sissy.
Pass has a friend who waited nearly 10 hours with severe chest pain before going to an emergency room because he thought it might be only heartburn. One little detail makes this story of masculine denial truly disturbing. The guy was a doctor. (He did have a mild heart attack but recovered.)