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Greatest threat to a man’s health is himself

14 November 2008

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The reason behind the poor state of men’s health in Britain could be linked to attitudes of toughness that still pervade masculine culture, according to a study.

New research from the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain (RPSGB) revealed 59% of men are reluctant to ask for help and only seek medical advice if they are “very ill or in great pain”.

The study found concerns about looking “macho” were a consideration and could contribute towards reducing life expectancy by up to five years.

Research showed almost two in five men (39%) believe that crying during films is not a manly trait, and one in six claimed that revealing a vulnerable side to their partner was not an option.

Some 7% said that asking for help on medical issues would be un-macho, while 6% thought they would be considered “soft” for seeking health advice.

David Pruce, the RPSGB’s director of policy, said: “Men’s health has been improving over the last 20 years and this is very much down to a change in habits – men are smoking less and paying much better attention to their diets.

“What we need now is a change in attitude. Men need to snap out of the ‘big boys don’t cry’ mind-set and start taking health problems seriously.”

Copyright © Press Association 2008