As part of National Heart Month 2016, new research published by Public Health England shows a discrepancy between how much men value their health, and what they do to look after it.
It found that
- Three quarters (74%) of men in England aged 40 to 60 place their health in the top three most important things in their life.
- Only a third (35%) feel confident that they know all the risk factors for heart disease.
- Six out of ten (58%) men believe their health will get progressively worse, regardless of whether they live a healthy lifestyle.
When asked to choose the top 3 most important things in their life, three quarters (74%) of men aged 40 to 60 ranked their health in the top 3, compared with only 32% selecting leisure time, 31% choosing wealth and less than a quarter stating their career (23%).
Despite this, 64% identify themselves as overweight, and only 28% think that men of their age do regular exercise with the aim of staying healthy. In addition only a third (32%) think that men their age check themselves regularly for signs of ill health.
Although many men are aware of many of the risks associated with heart disease, including high cholesterol, less than half (46%) had their cholesterol checked in the last year, and around a third (31%) either couldn’t remember or knew that they had never had a cholesterol check. Only a third (35%) feel confident that they know all the risk factors for heart disease.
Many men have little expectation of how much they can influence their future health. Around 6 out of 10 (58%) believed that as they get older their health is going to get worse, regardless of whether they lead a healthy lifestyle.
For National Heart Month 2016, Public Health England is encouraging men aged 40 to 74 to take up their invitation for a free NHS Health Check appointment. The Check is an opportunity to assess their cardiovascular health and lower their risk of developing preventable conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and certain types of cancer and dementia.
You can read more about the campaign on the Public Health England website here.