When it comes to their health men are typically more reticent about noticing and monitoring symptoms of illness, and, as they often present later than women with symptoms of illness, tend to visit their GP later than women. This could lead to delays in treatment that can have a major impact on outcome.
In a survey, men ranked their wives or partners as equal to their GPs in terms of their effectiveness as 'prompts' for healthier living.
So if you feel the men in your life need a helping hand to maintain good health, here's what to watch out for…
* Make sure he gets his blood pressure checked regularly with his GP. High blood pressure can lead to a stroke or heart attack.
* Ensure his gets his cholesterol levels checked. High cholesterol can lead to heart disease.
* Make sure he goes to the doctor if he feels breathless, particularly if related to exercise – it's a classic presentation of angina.
* Unexplained weight loss or gain could be a sign of illness.
* You're as likely to notice any testicular irregularities as he is, so make sure he gets anything unusual looked at. Regular checks are essential, as testicular cancer affects 20,000 men a year, mostly in the 15-45 age group.
* As with women, alcohol, obesity and smoking all carry significant health risks, so cutting down on the booze, avoiding an unhealthy diet and quitting cigarettes are three of the greatest steps men can take towards reducing the risk of serious illness. Exercise is also essential – even when disease already exists (with advice from a doctor, of course), as it can improve quality of life.
* Get him to keep an eye on his bowel and bladder movements – cancers connected to which increase with age. Any change in habits – especially if there is blood – should be reported to your GP.