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Third of men won't go to doctors, study finds

In spite of education campaigns, millions of men still aren't seeking health care.

Men's Health magazine and CNN conducted a survey that showed one-third of men don't go to the doctor even when they're experiencing what could be symptoms of a heart attack: severe chest pains (34 percent) or shortness of breath (37 percent).According to the survey, 20 percent of the adults experiencing chest pains would wait a day or two before going to a doctor, while 28 percent of those experiencing shortness of breath would wait. And 37 percent of adults with "blurred vision" would put off seeking medical help.

The number of adults getting screened for serious diseases like cancer, diabetes and heart disease is also low. Only 40 percent had their cholesterol checked in the past year. And only 28 percent had their blood sugar levels checked for diabetes. Women were only slightly better than men (31 percent to 25 percent).

But women are a lot better than men when it comes to being screened for cancer. In the last year, 55 percent had been screened (most of them for breast or cervical cancer or both). But only 32 percent of men had been screened (23 percent were checked for prostate cancer).

The magazine described the number of people screened for colon cancer as abysmal. The cancer is highly treatable in its early stages but still manages to kill 48,000 adults a year. Only 15 percent of men and 14 percent of women were screened.

The most popular medical tests are eye examinations, which draw more than half of adults every year.

According to the survey, the top reason people avoid health screenings is lack of time, followed by lack of insurance, not having a regular doctor and the difficulty of dealing with doctors or insurance companies.

People over age 55 are more likely than those 25-54 to have screenings done.

Most Americans surveyed consider themselves in either very good or excellent health.

The survey asked a number of questions about eating and shopping habits. It found that, in general, men don't like to go to the grocery store and many men and women routinely don't buy more items than they can get through the checkout stand.

More than 90 percent of American adults think health eating reduces the risk of disease.

The survey was conducted by Opinion Research Corporation International, based on a national telephone survey of 1003 adults in mid-April. The margin of error is plus or minus 3 percent.