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Blood pressure and chest pains most common male health fears

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One in ten men won't confess to having health fears according to the research

Worries about chest pains, high blood pressure and hearing problems are among the most common reasons men seek medical attention.

But many admit they’re put off going to the GP out of embarrassment and blame problems with work as a reason for not attending the surgery.

A survey of over 1,000 male NHS patients says the pandemic has made men more aware of their health, and many prefer to make remote appointments instead of face to face.

The survey by myGP says men cited awkward conversations with reception staff, dislike of getting undressed and seeing other patients as reasons they put off GP appointments.

Fifty five per cent of men blamed work and a lack of flexibility as one of their reasons for not seeking advice.

The most embarrassing medical issues included sex-related genital complaints, 20 per cent cited rectal problems, 17 per cent said mental health problems and nine per cent said they were embarrassed about bad breath

And the survey revealed that one in 10 men won’t confess to having health fears, even to their partner.

Dr Preeti Shukla, a GP in Blackburn, said: “Being a digital native GP, I value the ease of access and efficiency that remote consultations offer, and now knowing that 82 per cent of males are even more likely to seek medical advice or reassurance when they can do so remotely, I feel even more confident in this way of working.

“I believe many GPs will find this study reassuring, and will welcome the increased awareness delivered by the new health campaign.

“My advice to males putting off seeking medical advice is to remember that bodies are like vehicles – sometimes they provide a smooth ride where we don’t need to think about what’s going on under the bonnet and sometimes they need some fine-tuning.

“There’s no such thing as a new issue – GPs will have seen the issue you are experiencing multiple – if not thousands – of times before and will do everything they can to put you at ease.”

Tobias Alpsten, the founder of iPLATO, whcih created myGP, said: “In the last 12 months we have seen a 22 per cent increase in males downloading the myGP app to access free medical advice and support, and we saw a definite spike at the beginning of the pandemic.

“With digital access comes increased choice – some patients will opt for full anonymity, and be happy to be helped by an informed health bot, and some will opt for a video consultation with a GP, which can remove the awkwardness of being in the same room.

“Allowing patients to request and book an appointment with a few taps on a smartphone makes a big difference too – not having to find a private place to speak to a receptionist can mean the difference between seeking advice or not, for some patients – it certainly does for me. I

t’s all about us having the choice to manage our health, our way, and the pandemic has accelerated that, which is great.”

Over 54 per cent of male patients who take the plunge and seek medical advice about a health issue said they felt a sense of relief afterwards, and wish they had sought advice sooner and not put it off for so long.

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