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Real Men Wear Gowns: Preventative Care

Dr. Patrick Hadorn talks about the importance of maintaining a relationship with your doctor as you age.

MAPLE GROVE, Minn. — Preventative care is about risk factor reduction and prevention.

"Basically any care at which the goal is to keep you healthy as opposed to waiting until you’re sick and treating an illness," says Dr. Patrick Hadorn of Park Nicollet Maple Grove.

Dr. Hadorn says that means getting in to see a doctor for an annual checkup.

"I see it changing a bit with younger generations which is a good thing, but I’ve definitely noticed that men 50 and up - the norm is to sort of put off preventative maintenance," he says.

In theory, preventative care will save money by preventing a disease before it requires treatment. So, an early start is beneficial. However, most men skip doctor visits during their 20’s - a time where establishing a baseline is important.

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"In terms of cardiovascular screening and, by that I mean, blood pressure monitoring, cholesterol, getting a good family history," says Dr. Hadorn.

As lives get busier in the 30’s it becomes important to keep an eye on activity level and exercise and monitor risk factors like weight and blood pressure. By the time your 40’s roll around, more frequent monitoring for things like lipids and blood sugar should take place and your family history becomes more important. That leads to the big pivot point - your 50’s.

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"Colon cancer screening, prostate cancer screening, on-going monitoring of cardiovascular risk factors," says Dr. Hadorn. "That is usually at the age where I want to start seeing people yearly."

Which is another reason having an established doctor is beneficial.

"That way if you do get sick, you’ve got someone that does know your history, and can kind of help guide you along," says Dr. Hadorn.