Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Older men's hidden health concerns

08.03.2012
Do men harbour concerns about aging in good health? Do they confide these concerns to their physicians? Are men's concerns the same as women's?

The answers to these questions can be found in a large cross-sectional survey of 2325 Canadian men, aged 55 to 97 years old, led by Dr. Cara Tannenbaum, Geriatrician and the Michel Saucier Endowed Chair in Geriatric Pharmacology, Health and Aging at the Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal (IUGM) which is affiliated with the Université de Montréal. The results of a parallel survey querying the health concerns of older Canadian women was published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal in 2005.

Priorities: maintaining one's independence and quality of life Health issues of greatest concern to men included ailments that risk compromising independence and quality of life. Mobility impairments (64%), memory loss (64%) and medication side effects (63%) ranked top among their list of concerns. Vision loss (61%), hearing loss (52%) and falls (51%) followed in second place.

Are concerns being addressed by physicians? Paradoxically, health practitioners appear not to be providing older men with adequate health information on the issues of greatest concern to them. With the exception of addressing medication side effects, men reported that only a minority of them had received counselling on strategies to prevent, screen, and treat health-related conditions that could threaten their physical and mental health. For example, respondents reported that risk factors and screening for mobility impairment and memory loss were only discussed with 13% and 9% of them respectively.

The survey reveals important information gaps for depression (only 9.5% declared that their health care provider had discussed this with them), end-of-life care (12%), osteoporosis (13.5%), Alzheimer's disease (16%), anxiety (17%) and incontinence (18%). Additionally, because of stigma surrounding incontinence, patients are reluctant to bring up the issue on their own.

The good news is that health problems such as stroke, heart disease, diabetes, pneumonia and prostate disease appear to be well managed, since more than 80% of respondents said that they had been provided with information, screening or treatment for these conditions.

Solutions for engaging in dialogue and delivering information Dr. Cara Tannenbaum, the geriatrician in charge of the investigation, was struck by the disparity between what older men want and what they seem to be receiving from health care professionals. "It is time for the health care system to invest in strategies for older adults to preserve their autonomy, mental health and well-being. As older men and women's health priorities become better understood, a shift in the way health care is delivered and reimbursed will be required. More time is needed during the patient's health care encounter to provide individualized counselling about exercise, nutrition, bladder, and brain health in old age. Incontinence post-prostatectomy is becoming more frequent and has a devastating impact on a man's self-esteem and sexual function. Depression and anxiety, resulting from sensory impairments or the loss of loved ones, and the resultant social isolation that can ensue, are also important issues for men that need to be addressed in order to promote continued independence and quality of life", states Dr. Cara Tannenbaum. "Increased awareness of these issues through public health campaigns or accredited information on a website for seniors will have to be developed to inform the population of age-related health challenges and how they can be appropriately managed". Along these lines, the Quebec ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux (MSSS), in collaboration with the Fonds de recherche du Québec, Société et culture (FRQSC), recently launched a call for research proposals aimed at better understanding men's perceptions of their life stressors as a function of their social roles throughout the lifespan. Quebec hopes to identify the challenges for overcoming men's stressors and to provide the necesasary resources to meet their needs.

Women worry more Based on results from the 2005 Canadian survey on older women's health priorities, men appear to share many of the same concerns as women for healthy aging. What stands out for every health issue is that more women worry than men. For example, 88% of older women identified mobility problems, memory loss and medication side effects as their top three health concerns, while only 64% of men admit to being concerned about these issues. Differences can be explained by women's tendency to be more preoccupied by health issues, possibly as a result of the caregiving roles they traditionally assume for their parents, spouses and children.

Research Overview In May 2008, a postal survey was mailed to a random sample of 5000 Canadian men aged 55 to 97 years old across Canada. The questions focused on 24 health items of concern to men, and 2325 men responded. The questions were derived from discussion groups with community-dwelling men aged 59-89 recruited from local community centers. Results were published online on Early online. This research received financial support from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

About the author Cara Tannenbaum, MD, MSc, is a geriatrician and researcher in the health promotion, health care services and intervention unit at the Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal (IUGM). She is also the inaugural Michel-Saucier Endowed Chair in Geriatric Pharmacology, Health and Aging from the Faculty of Pharmacy at the Université de Montréal and an Associate Professor of Medicine at the Université de Montréal. She leads a program of research in epidemiologic and clinical geriatric health. Her clinical practice aims to improve medical care for older people.

Overview of the IUGM The IUGM consists of 452 short-and long-terms beds and an ambulatory care centre that includes one of the rare chronic pain management clinics for the elderly in the world. It is a leader in clinical practice, specialized care, health promotion and knowledge development in the field of aging and senior health in Quebec. The IUGM consists of 1300 employees, physicians, researchers and volunteers, all specialized in senior care and services. Our Research Centre is recognized as the largest in the French-speaking community. Each year, the IUGM welcomes hundreds of students, trainees and researchers studying in the field of aging and seniors' health issues.

William Raillant-Clark | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.umontreal.ca

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht WAKE-UP provides new treatment option for stroke patients | International study led by UKE
17.05.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf

nachricht First form of therapy for childhood dementia CLN2 developed
25.04.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Powerful IT security for the car of the future – research alliance develops new approaches

The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.

Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Flow probes from the 3D printer

25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering

Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found

25.05.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>