Breaking News in Urology

March 14, 2000
Abstracted from Los Angeles Times
by Julie Marquis, Times Health Writer

Men "Dangerously Out of Touch" with Health Care,
Says Louis Harris Poll

New York -- Compared to women, men are "dangerously out of touch" with the American health care system, according to a Louis Harris Poll released today by the Commonwealth Fund. The survey is notable because it is one of the largest and most extensive to date on men's health care patterns. The major conclusion is that a gender gap in health care exists and is growing larger, placing men at increased health risks. The complete study is available on the website of the Commonwealth Fund, an 80-year old philanthropic organization.

Among the findings in this key report are the following:

  • Three times as many men as women had not seen a doctor in the previous year.
  • One in three men had no regular doctor, compared with one in five women.
  • One man in two had not had a physical exam in the previous year.
  • Among men older than 50, 60% had not been screened for colon cancer and 41% had not been screened for prostate cancer in the prior year.
  • 25% of men reported they would "wait as long as possible before seeking help" if concerned about personal health care.

According to David Sandman, program officer at the Commonwealth Fund and lead author of the study, "Men have a shorter life expectancy than women and suffer higher mortality rates from the leading causes of death. Strengthening men's connections to the health care system and sensitizing physicians to male health concerns could bring about improvements in men's longevity and well-being."

LA Times news story

Commonwealth Fund homepage

Full report of study, "Men out of Touch" (pdf file)


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