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Fear of destroying ‘macho image’ stops older men seeing their GP, health chief claims

PUBLISHED: 11:00 02 November 2015

Nurses carried out health checks for men at the Ipswich Town match on Saturday.

Nurses carried out health checks for men at the Ipswich Town match on Saturday.

Older men with suspected health issues can be scared to see their GP due to a fear of breaking the “macho image”, a health chief has said.

John Allen has his health checked by causal health check worker Lorraine Reynolds.John Allen has his health checked by causal health check worker Lorraine Reynolds.

Tony Goldson, cabinet member for health at Suffolk County Council, urged men to visit their doctor if they believe they are suffering from ill health before it is “too late”.

He was speaking at a free health check clinic set up on the training pitch at Portman Road, home of Ipswich Town, on Saturday.

The Are You Match Fit? clinic, run by Anglian Community Enterprise (ACE), offered a number of health checks to male Blues fans aged 40-74.

They were designed to provide early indications of health issues such as high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes or heart disease.

Mr Goldson said: “Men are very reluctant to go forward and admit they have health problems.

“This is due to a combination of reasons: there is the macho image, where we all like to think we’re invincible like when we’re younger, and a lot of it is fear factor. We are frightened to be told there is something wrong. And, often when it happens, it is too late.

“That’s why we are urging men, with the free health check at the game and at other events, to come forward and acknowledge they are human, and that we are not all superhuman. We do have our faults.”

John Allen, 44, of Stowmarket, said he was impressed with the nurse-led health check.

He said: “I am now going to make lifestyle changes, such as eating more porridge and going on the rowing machine in my garage rather than just looking at it. It was a very good heads-up.”

Samantha McKinley, casual health check team leader at ACE, said: “Health checks for men can be a bit of a stigma; they may not always want to see their GP and a clinical environment can be quite uncomfortable. But our health checks provide comfortable surroundings and lots of men went away with information.”


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