DM

London

They may pride themselves on their large muscles or burly build. But so-called ‘macho’ men often lag behind in the health stakes and are more likely to die young, new research warns. Not only do many think going to the doctor is for ‘wimps’, they also try to brave out the symptoms of an illness, the study claims. In fact this ‘stiff upper lip’ could be a major factor in why men die earlier than women throughout the world, it added. Diana Sanchez, professor of psychology at Rutgers University, said: ‘The question we wanted to answer was, why do men die earlier than women? They may pride themselves on their large muscles or burly build. But so-called ‘macho’ men often lag behind in the health stakes - and are more likely to die young, new research warns.

Not only do many think going to the doctor is for ‘wimps’, they also try to brave out the symptoms of an illness, the study claims. In fact this ‘stiff upper lip’ could be a major factor in why men die earlier than women throughout the world, it added.

Diana Sanchez, professor of psychology at Rutgers University, said: ‘The question we wanted to answer was, why do men die earlier than women? In a series of interviews with men and women they found men were less likely to go to a doctor.

They also chose male doctors because they thought they were more competent than female doctors. Yet when they go to see a male GP, it was found they were less likely to be honest with them about their problem. A psychological questionnaire among the men taking part in the study looked at their own feelings about masculinity. It found those who were the most macho were least likely to seek medical advice.

These men also felt they should be ‘tough, brave, self reliant and restrained’ about potential medical problems,’ according to the study. ‘That’s because they don’t want to show weakness or dependence to another man, including a male doctor’ Professor Sanchez said.

The study concluded: ‘Men have a cultural script that tells them they should be brave, self-reliant and tough. ‘Women don’t have that script, so there isn’t any cultural message telling them that, to be real women, they should not make too much of illnesses and symptoms.’ From blood in the urine to ‘man boobs’, there are a host of signs that things aren’t quite right in the male body. 

And sometimes seemingly everyday symptoms can be a sign of a more serious disease. For example, heavy drinking may be a sign of depression, while problems performing in the bedroom is an early indicator of heart disease. Here, experts reveal to MailOnline the nine health symptoms men should never ignore.