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Men More Prone to Illness Than Women

A new study suggests that you need to visit the doc more often.

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Gentlemen, it’s time to step up your health game and get yourself to the doctor's office more than once a decade. A recent study published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health found that men are more prone to illness compared to their female counterparts.

“[Men] are at increased risk of developing any one of four chronic physical health problems—asthma, hypertension, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder,” says researcher Flora Matheson, Ph.D., a medical sociologist. “We know from other research that men are less likely to see a family doctor, but these illnesses are manageable and their treatment will improve quality of life and longevity.”

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Researchers at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto used data from the Canadian Community Health Survey and subsequent medical records to track the onset of the four aforementioned physical illnesses between 2001 and 2011. Their findings were stark: The 10-year study revealed that women had a 14% lower risk for developing asthma, hypertension, diabetes, and CPD compared to men.

While it’s hard to say exactly why men are more likely to get sick--perhaps guys skip checkups out of toughness—it's a trend that can't be ignored. 

“Visit your doctor,” Matheson says. “Men who don't seek help to manage chronic illness risk lifetime disability, disease, and premature mortality.”

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