VALHALLA. N.Y. -- Paying a visit to the doctor for an annual checkup is a simple first step in maintaining proper health. However, many people - especially men - schedule these visits irregularly or avoid them entirely. According to doctors in the Westchester Medical Center Health Network, avoiding a checkup is a dangerous practice.
“An annual physical exam becomes very, very important once you reach 40," said Dr. Parag Shah, internal medicine physician at Bon Secours Medical Group, a member of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth). "This is when vascular disease becomes more common, leading to heart disease, stroke and circulatory problems.”
Unfortunately, many men eschew their annual physical, citing fine health and no display of any warning symptoms. In fact, recent studies have shown that men are 80 percent less likely than women to see a doctor for regular checkups. By skipping precautionary visits, potentially life-threatening illnesses go unnoticed.
Shah warned that not taking proper precautions is not only dangerous, it's irresponsible. "Most people have someone relying on them — a spouse, children, parents, friends or work," he said. "Think of your annual checkups as a responsibility to yourself and those who depend on you."
Even for men under 40, it's still important to schedule an annual checkup, Shah said. To learn about what patients should check for based on their age, read more via Advancing Care in the Hudson Valley.