Yearly checkups necessary to identify potential issues
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 12/07/2012 -- Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) have recently conducted a study that shows the more proactive a man is about his own health, the more it limits potential health issues.
Frequent checkups with physicians allow men to get the necessary screenings they need, such as for hypertension, cholesterol, and prostate issues.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately one-third of men over the age of 20 in the United States are obese, and nearly one-third of the nation's male population has high blood pressure.
The simple act of going to the doctor is critical to men's health, as noted by UAB Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine Stephen Russell, M.D.
"Generally, I see men putting off the doctor visits and, oftentimes, ignoring symptoms," Russell said. "Getting a yearly physical gives your doctor the opportunity to do necessary screenings and to potentially identify problems that put you at risk for things like obesity and hypertension."
Russell says adults should follow the habit that was started by their parents when they were children and continue to see their primary care doctor at least once per year.
"We think it's important for all people in their 20s to establish relationships with a primary care physician because that's when we can get baseline health information, discuss family health history, talk about lifestyle changes and evaluate for obesity-related illnesses," Russell said.
In a study conducted by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), they found that some screenings. Important screenings start even before the age of 20, and include blood pressure checks, which should be conducted at least every two years beginning at age 18 years of age.
By age 35, men should be getting annual screenings for fasting cholesterol levels; however, those with a family or personal history of diabetes or obesity, or others in high-risk groups, should start sooner.
Colon and prostate cancer should begin by age 50 according to the USPSTF. The CDC, along with Turner Overton, M.D., a UAB Division of Infectious Diseases associate professor, recommend men in their 40s get a one-time blood test for hepatitis C.
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