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Doctor explains gap in men's health care

"There is a period of sometimes up to 20 to 30 years in some men's lives when they don't go to the doctor unless there is an emergency," Paynter said. (KRCG)

June is Men's Health Month. SSM Health family medicine physician Dr. Christopher Paynter stopped by KRCG 13 Live at Sunrise to talk about the importance of preventive care.

"There is a period of sometimes up to 20 to 30 years in some men's lives when they don't go to the doctor unless there is an emergency," Paynter said. "Unlike women who may have a 'well-woman' check up every year or so, some men don't see a doctor from their last visit to a pediatrician to maybe the time when they're 40 to 50 years old."

Dr. Paynter said that gap can lead to certain conditions sneaking up unnoticed. "The most common issue is hypertension or high blood pressure," he said. "But if you come in and see your physician more frequently, say, on a yearly basis, we can make sure your diet, exercise, and just health in general is on track."

Dr. Paynter said studies showed married men lived longer. "We believe that's because their wives push them to come in to the doctor when they're not feeling well," he said. "I know that's also been true in my life - my wife was the one who actually encouraged me to finally go see the doctor last year when I was sick."

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