Questionnaire uncovers twenty percent of men with chronic illnesses are noncompliant
Kelsey-Seybold physicians share viewpoints on men's health, challenges
Houston (September 24, 2019) – According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), six in 10 adults have a chronic disease. A chronic disease is defined as an illness or condition which lasts longer than one year and requires ongoing medical attention or limits the patient's ability to engage in activities of daily living – or both. Examples of chronic diseases include diabetes, heart disease, cancer, kidney disease, stroke, lung disease, and Alzheimer's disease.
A recent SurveyMonkey questionnaire about men's health was evenly distributed nationally to more than 200 men. Respondents anonymously answered questions regarding their health habits. Kelsey-Seybold Clinic physicians reviewed the results and found while most men prioritize their health, 20 percent of men who identified as having a chronic condition in the survey admit that they are noncompliant with their treatment plan, meaning they don't follow a course of treatment prescribed by their doctor.
Chronic conditions require compliance to help manage and keep the illnesses under control. When chronic illnesses are not adequately managed, patients may experience a worsening of the symptoms/condition.
"We find that some chronic conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure have higher noncompliance rates than others. These conditions typically have few symptoms in the beginning stages of the disease and may contribute to a false sense of security," said Victor Simms, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.P., chief of Internal Medicine, Kelsey-Seybold Clinic. "What patients may not know is that the longer they delay treatment, the more damage these conditions cause to the vascular system which then damages multiple organs in the body. Wait too long to become compliant and the damage to organs may be irreversible."
Additionally, 15 percent of men who self-identified as having a chronic condition in the survey admitted to skipping regular appointments with the physician who helps them medically manage their illness.
"According to the US Preventive Services Task Force, it is recommended that men be screened annually for high blood pressure beginning at age 40. The purpose of an annual physical is to establish a relationship with a physician and to begin tracking your health as an adult. These annual visits and follow-up appointments are especially important for patients with chronic conditions," said Sebastian Scobercea, M.D., Family Medicine, managing physician, Kelsey-Seybold Clinic – Kingwood. "By tracking health metrics, a physician may help patients with chronic conditions better manage the symptoms and the disease – which in turn may help improve outcomes for that patient. It is critically important for patients with chronic conditions to follow up with their physicians on the timeline established by their doctors."
Another troubling survey result is that 15 percent of the men surveyed engage in the consumption of nicotine products, including smoking, vaping, dipping, and chewing. Men – and all nicotine users – need to know that there is no such thing as harmless nicotine use.
"Men have a higher prevalence of nicotine use – smoking being the most common – and I've seen a disturbing trend in my clinic where patients are giving up cigarettes but taking up vaping instead," said Shane Magee, M.D., Internal Medicine, Kelsey-Seybold Clinic – Tanglewood. "My priority when patients share that they've made the switch from cigarettes to vaping is to educate them. While using e-cigarettes, also known as vaping, is touted as a safe alternative, it isn't. The science suggests that vaping is not safe or healthy, and my goal is to help patients end their nicotine dependency. Replacing one bad habit with another is not a good strategy."