Just 46% of men aged 40 to 60 have had their cholesterol checked in the past year, figures from Public Health England have revealed.
The survey of 359 men, released as part of National Heart Month, also found that 31% of middle-aged men have never had their cholesterol checked, or remember if they had. Additionally, 64% identified themselves as overweight, and only 28% think that men of their age do regular exercise with the aim of staying healthy, while just a third (32%) think that men their age check themselves regularly for signs of ill health.
‘It is clear that men, as well as women, should be doing something to reduce the major risks to their health, such as smoking, high blood pressure, obesity, drinking too much and not being active’ said Jamie Waterall, national lead for the NHS Health Check Programme at Public Health England. ‘They need to know that all these lifestyle choices - things they can do something about - will have a huge impact on their health.’
The survey also examined attitudes towards lifestyle in middle-aged men, finding that health is one of the biggest concerns for most men. When asked to choose their top priorities, just under three quarters (74%) of respondents ranked their health in the top three, compared with only 32% selecting leisure time, 31% choosing wealth and 23% stating their career.
‘Coronary heart disease is still the single biggest killer in the UK and more than 1 in 7 men die from it,’ said Simon Gillespie, chief executive at the British Heart Foundation. ‘Risk factors such as high blood pressure, being overweight, lack of physical activity, diabetes and high cholesterol can increase your risk of developing heart disease.’