93.9 BayFM Geelong
The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) is highlighting that young Australian men have higher rates of risky behaviours than young women and that this can put their health at immediate and long term risk. This warning comes as International Men’s Health Week takes place from 13 – 19 June 2011.
In the 25 – 44 year age group, men experience more than three-quarters of the burden of injury in Australia, partly because of their greater inclination for risk taking combined with increased occupational health risks. This includes motor vehicle injuries, occupational injuries and other accidental injuries. In addition, unhealthy behaviours that lead to cardiovascular disease are also more common in men than women.
Dr Ronald McCoy, RACGP spokesperson, said that GPs have a role in identifying these risky behaviours and in educating men to reduce these risks to benefit their health.
“Being male puts you at higher risk of cardiovascular disease, but combined with a higher rate of smoking and other risk factors, this results in even higher rates of cardiovascular disease.
“For example, smoking accounts for around 10 percent of the total burden of disease in males compared with 6 percent in females1.
“Also men in the 25-44 year age group are twice more likely to drink daily (10.8 percent) compared with women (5.8 percent), and men in this age group are also more likely to use illicit drugs1,” he said.
Dr McCoy said that GPs aim to identify factors such as smoking, nutrition, alcohol use, physical activity levels and other risks in order to reduce their impact and to improve the health of patients.
“The task of getting Australian men to focus on their health is not an easy one, as many men simply don’t look after themselves, don’t talk about their health and don’t have a local doctor that they visit to discuss health concerns.
“This is why the College has developed a men’s preventive health program – The M5 Project – which encourages males to take five key preventive steps to improve their health,” he said.
The M5 Project five key preventive steps are:
1. Share your family history with your GP
2. Know your healthy weight
3. Check your blood pressure
4. Stop smoking – it’s the only healthy option
5. Maintain a healthy mind and a healthy body.
For more information about the M5 Project, visit www.m5project.com.au.
There are many ways to find a GP, including asking friends in your area or neighbours if they have a GP they would recommend. Telephone directories will include listings under medical practitioners. The RACGP has an online directory called ‘Find a Practice’ which gives you information on your local GPs. Visit www.racgp.org.au/findapractice.