01 Dec 2010 - Healthy relationships equal healthy men?
Women are key in driving men to see the doctor, when it comes to embarrassing men’s health issues according to the GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Health Index released today.
The latest GSK Health Index survey released today surveyed 1005 men and 1003 women about men’s health issues and reveals nearly 70% of men currently experiencing symptoms below the belt confided in their partner about their symptoms with 69% of these men compelled to consult a doctor after their partner asked them to1.
Despite admitting their symptoms below the belt affect their sleep, ability to work, relationship and sex life, and one third of men incorrectly believing their symptoms are an untreatable natural part of ageing, 48% have not sought medical advice and 34% of men are not able to identify where their prostate is.
“This research is encouraging and goes against the belief that men don’t listen to anything their partner says” says Dr Camilla Chong, Medical Director, GSK.
“However it is important that men not only speak with their partners, but also listen to the advice by following through and seeing the doctor”.
The reliance upon advice from their partners on health issues comes none too soon, with nearly 20% admitting to having no idea about health issues like prostate cancer, bowel cancer or benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate)1.
“Men’s health is an issue that is becoming increasingly recognised. Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer in Australian men3 while conditions like benign prostatic hyperplasia, a non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate gland and the most common cause of lower urinary tract symptoms in older men, have a huge impact on quality of life if left untreated2. So it is important men don’t ignore symptoms and recognise when to seek medical attention” says Dr Chong.
The survey also found women mistakenly believe their partners don’t listen to what they say when it comes to health advice. Surprisingly, 52% of women believe their request for their partner to go see the doctor has been ignored, and 38% of women feel like their partners weren’t confiding in them, suspecting their partners have symptoms and haven’t been told about them1.
“Despite what women think, the great news is that men are actually confiding in their partners, and increasing the woman’s role in managing their health”, says Dr Chong.
Of those men who had never sought medical advice, 69% incorrectly believe their symptoms are an untreatable natural part of ageing so do not want to bother their doctor, 13% were embarrassed, 9% were worried they would have to have a rectal examination and 6% avoided the doctor for fear of finding out they might have cancer1.
“Many symptoms below the belt can be symptomatic of non life threatening illnesses such as benign prostatic hyperplasia and are treatable. So it’s time for men to take action and see a doctor about any symptoms they may be experiencing.
The survey also found:
- 8 in 10 men report not knowing anything about benign prostatic hyperplasia1 despite it being the most common form of prostate disease.2
- 70% are out of bed between two and three times a night to urinate and 61% report losing half an hours sleep a night due to toilet trips1
- Nearly 20% of men claim symptoms are affecting their sex lives1
“Given these findings, it is important that both men and women remain vigilant about men’s health issues, and recognise the importance of seeking medical advice when symptoms are present” says Dr Chong.
The survey was conducted among men experiencing potential symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia such as getting up at night to urinate, frequently urinating during the day and urgency to urinate and among women whose partner experienced such symptoms. Benign prostatic hyperplasia can be treated so men experiencing symptoms below the belt should consult a doctor.
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GlaxoSmithKline – one of the world’s leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies – is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer. For further information please visit www.gsk.com.au
For further information, please contact:
Elizabeth Katschura, Haystac Health (03) 8689 2230 / 0417 004 791
Stephen Richardson, Haystac Health (02) 8094 7748/ 0438 262 869
1. Online market research conducted by Pure Profile on behalf of GlaxoSmithKline among n= 2008. The survey was conducted among a nationally representative population sample of man and women 30 years of age and over. Symptoms were reported by self selection reporting rather than medical diagnosis.
2. Andrology Australia website, accessed 09.11.10, http://www.andrologyaustralia.org/docs/Factsheet_ProstateEnlargement.pdf
3. Prostate cancer foundation of Australia, accessed 19.11.10
GSK Health Index - Press Release