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“Men dying the most from sickness but less likely to visit the doctor” says Ministry of Health

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Posted: Tuesday, December 31, 2019. 12:31 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: Platforming off of the release of its cause of death statistics this week, the Ministry of Health in Belize (MOH) has noted that a major contributing factor to male deaths is an apparent reluctance to seek medical attention.

The statistics, released yesterday, showed that heart disease, diabetes, and cancers were the three leading causes of death in Belize for 2018 and that men were most affected.

Director of Health Services Dr. Marvin Manzanero used the patient population affected by hypertension to explain the different tiers of patients, saying that the first tier doesn’t know they have hypertension, the second knows but is not on medication, and the third is on medication but still does not have their blood pressure under control. In all tiers, men make up the majority, putting them at greater risk for serious medical complications and even death.

“Men usually don’t go to see a doctor until it is very late and are also less likely to go to the doctor for medications and do followups,” Manzanero said.

He went on to say that prostate cancers is a prevalent cause of male deaths despite it being preventable with early diagnosis.

Manzanero stressed that the ministry has interventions in place to educate the public on lifestyle practices that contribute to the conditions that are causing the deaths, but that it will take a cultural shift to effect meaningful change in the lifestyle of Belizean men. He emphasized that only that level of change can translate to healtheir men and will bring down the number of casualties to these conditions.

Heart diseases killed some 259 Belizeans last year. As a side note, homicides was the fourth most prevalent cause of death, which also affected men more than women.

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