By Kim Carney
Dec. 15, 2005 (MSNBC) - Men may be thinking more about their health these days, according to the Men's Health/MSNBC survey, but too many rough and tough guys are still ignoring their bodies.
Women tend to worry too much about their weight, but guys typically think they’re just a few sit-ups away from being in the shape they were in college or high school.
They think because they feel fine, there's nothing to worry about. The "if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it" theory may work for cars, but not always for people. "Men are not prevention-conscious," says Dr. David Crawford, a professor of urology at the University of Colorado in Denver.
The reality is men on average die six years earlier than women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For leading causes of death — heart disease, cancer, diabetes and stroke — men have higher death rates.
Still, men put off going to the doctor, even if they suspect something might be wrong. "Most men, more often than not, fear the doctor," says Dr. Raul Seballos, a preventive medicine specialist at the Cleveland Clinic. "They just don’t want to know."
Dude, it's time for an attitude adjustment. As part of the MSNBC series on men's health, we present some of the major myths men believe about their health:
Myth #1: I’m too young to worry about heart disease
“The biggest mistake men make is thinking that heart disease doesn’t start until they get older," says Dr. Matthew DeVane, a cardiologist at Cardiovascular Consultants Medical Group in Walnut, Calif.
“Men think if they look healthy and exercise, they’re not at risk. Looks can be deceiving,” says DeVane, author of “Heart Smart” (Wiley), being published in February.