||Navigating Health Care: Tips for Men on Staying Healthy
Rand: Research shows that in general men are less likely to visit their
doctors or get preventive health care. But being active in your health care and
getting the right preventive health screenings and treatments does make a
difference. AHRQ Director Dr. Carolyn Clancy joins us now to talk about how men
at any age can stay healthy. Dr. Clancy, thank you so much for being with us.
Dr. Clancy: Thank you.
Rand: So once men get to a doctor’s office, what kinds of issues should
they bring up to their clinicians?
Dr. Clancy: We strongly encourage that all men talk to their clinicians
about preventive health care. Don’t just visit the doctor when you feel ill. Get
regular checkups and the preventive tests and screenings you need based on your
age and risk factors.
Rand: What are some general tips then, for men, health wise?
Dr. Clancy: Certainly everyone should be trying to maintain a healthy
weight. Being overweight or obese can contribute to other health problems such
as diabetes and heart disease. It’s also a good idea to have your cholesterol
checked regularly starting at age 35. If you’re younger than 35, talk to your
doctor about whether to have your cholesterol checked. Also, if you have high
blood pressure, or pressure that is higher than 140 over 90, you really should
have it checked at least every two years. And if you have high blood pressure or
high cholesterol, you need to be tested for diabetes as well.
Rand: What about screenings for diseases like cancer?
Dr. Clancy: Most men should get tested for colorectal cancer starting at
age 50. Your doctor can help you decide which test is right for you. If you have
a family history of colorectal cancer, you may need to be screened earlier.
Rand: Dr. Clancy, do you have any tips on how men can remember to talk to
their doctors about these preventive tests?
Dr. Clancy: Yes I do. In fact, AHRQ has a guide especially designed for
men. It’s called "Men: Stay Healthy at Any Age," and it’s available online at
We encourage men to download the guide and our helpful checklist and bring it
with them to their next doctor’s appointment.
Rand: Dr. Carolyn Clancy, thanks for your advice.
Dr. Clancy: My pleasure.