Abbott, Men's Health Network launch 'Drive for Five' men's health awareness campaign


NEW YORK — Abbott on Wednesday launched Drive for Five, a multifaceted, disease education and men's health awareness initiative, to encourage men to take a more proactive approach to their personal health.

As part of the campaign, Abbott partnered with Men's Health Network to sponsor and conduct one of the largest men's health assessments to date to uncover insights into the attitudes of men when it comes to seeking medical advice. The survey found that most men take a casual approach to their health. In fact, 61% of men said they are "semi-proactive about health," responding to medical emergencies when needed and admittedly are not proactive about annual doctor visits and preventative medicine.

Some 52% of men reported they usually see a doctor when something needs to be "fixed," and the majority (63%) reported that prolonged, severe pain is the main "breaking point" for when they will visit the doctor,. Bleeding, vomiting or itching alone doesn't drive most men to see a doctor. 

As many as 46% of men surveyed said doctor visits make them nervous, anxious or scared. Half admitted that their biggest fear before going to the doctor is finding out they have a serious health problem. Most of the men surveyed said they hope to live well into their 80s or beyond, but slightly more than half (51%) said they are worried about their health right now and less than 1-in-3 men described his overall health as "excellent."

"What is clear from the survey findings is that there is an emotional barrier to going to the doctor, and it is important that we encourage men to be more proactive about their health and have productive conversations with their doctors," said Steven Lamm of the New York University School of Medicine and Drive for Five campaign spokesperson. 

Even though 69% of men surveyed said they have had a check-up or wellness screening in the past year, the survey found that most men still lack knowledge about important health issues. Only 1-in-3 men are "very knowledgeable" about the health impact of high blood pressure and glucose levels. Fewer still are "very knowledgeable" about caloric intake, the impact of a high-sodium diet and the possible implications of high prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels.

More than one-third of men reported that a spouse or significant other is the most powerful motivator in their decision to see a doctor. Men in relationships are more likely to have a primary care physician, visit a doctor at least once a year for a wellness check-up and generally are less reluctant to schedule their own doctor's appointments.

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