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AUDIO TRANSCRIPT
Wednesday, October 08, 2008 9:00 AM
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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 ahrq.gov/consumer. 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.

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