Men may need some convincing from their spouses to visit doctors, according to a study conducted by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Married men are apparently more dedicated to taking care of their health than men that only live with their partners and single men. Out of the three groups, cohabiting men are the least likely to report going to the doctor in the previous year.
The survey looked at the frequency of preventive health screenings attended by men of each of the three categories (married, cohabiting and single). Cholesterol and blood pressure tests are two of the most important clinical services that men are less likely to receive when cohabiting versus when they are married or single. Men are most likely to pay close attention to their health when married.
The reasoning behind the statistics isn't clear. "People take better care of their own health because it's important to their partner," says Linda Waite, a professor at the University of Chicago, suggesting that an invested interest in a lifelong relationship with one's partner is a motivated factor to taking care of one's health.
The numbers certainly agree with Waite. The survey studied 24,310 men young and old, between ages 18 and 64, married, living with a partner of either gender or single. 70.5% of men saw a doctor in the previous year. 76.3% of married men, 65.1% of single men, and 60.3% of cohabiting men reported going to the doctor. A few factors did come into play, such as age (men in any group younger than 44 years old were less likely to visit the doctor than men above 44 years) and insurance (78.6% with health insurance visited the doctor, while 42.6% without insurance made the visit).
Blood-pressure checks and cholesterol screenings are highly recommended for all adults, specifically men 35 and older. Despite the survey results, there is no evidence of married men being physically healthier than cohabiting or single men. While married men were the most likely to visit their doctors in the previous year than, there is no direct link between marriage and doctor visits suggested in this study. "Ultimately, the data we have available don't tell us that life will be better down the line," says lead author Stephen Blumberg.
However, whether you are a bachelor, living with your partner, or blissfully married, preventive healthcare is a service to be used, preferably before "death do us part."