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A whopping 99% of men aren't doing all they can to keep their hearts healthy, and one poll shows that 26% percent of men hadn't been to the doctor or other professional in a year. Here's a trick you can try.

Ellen Seidman
September 23, 2014

A whopping 99% of men aren't doing all they can to keep their hearts healthy, finds a major new study. Assessing data from 20,721 men, Swedish researchers found that only 1% had the habits proven to help prevent a heart attack: eating a healthy diet, drinking in moderation, not smoking, being physically active and keeping belly fat in check.

Plenty of women are guilty of not doing these things too, to be sure. But then again, it seems like women are more likely to take charge of their health. One poll by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 26% percent of men hadn't been to the doctor or other professional in a year, versus 13% percent of women.

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This may not be a shocker to those of us with men in our lives. My husband typically deals with colds, stomach bugs, and other health woes by lying on our living room couch, moaning and asking me to bring him smoothies. "Call the doctor and make an appointment!" I'll urge him, given that smoothies haven't yet been proven to be as beneficial as doctors are. But, no: He doesn't go.

To help keep him healthy, I've taken to reminding him to make an appointment for his annual physical whenever I make my own. And once a year, we have what may be the world's weirdest-yet-helpful date: I make skin check appointments for both of us at the dermatologist. Afterward, we go for lunch and see a movie, or just picnic in a park. It's sort of romantic—and very lifesaving.

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I may refuse to pick up my husband's socks off the bedroom floor or remind him to call his friends on their birthdays (I'm his wife, not his mother), but I'm glad to be co-guardian of his health. I want him—and his smoothie-grubbing ways—around for a long, long time.

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