Men’s macho behavior might lead them to an early grave, suggests new research from New Jersey’s Rutgers University reported on in LiveScience.

In addition, statistics indicate that women are expected to live until they’re 80 years old, while life expectancy for men is about 75, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The reason for the difference, suggests these findings, is that macho men are more likely to avoid preventive health care.

Researchers studied middle-aged men’s masculinity beliefs, socioeconomic status and their compliance with three commonly recommended annual health care procedures: physical exam, flu shot and prostate examination.

The participants’ manliness was measured via their answers to statements in support of macho ideals. (Men gave comments ranging from strongly agree to strongly disagree.)

Researchers found that guys with strong macho ideals were 26 percent less likely than other study participants to get a check-up, nearly 30 percent less likely to have a prostate exam and 50 percent less likely to have all three preventive services in the prior year.

While previous research showed higher socioeconomic status promotes better health, this wasn’t the case with monied macho men.

“As job status increases among men who have strong masculinity beliefs, the likelihood that they will obtain preventative health care declines significantly,” said Kristen Springer, principal researcher. “These findings provide some insight into the persistent gender paradox in health whereby men have a lower life expectancy at birth relative to women, despite having higher socioeconomic resources.”

Springer added that men who have high-status jobs “do not want to feel emasculated by placing themselves in the subordinate position of patient.”

Interestingly, researchers found that men with low-status, macho-man jobs were more likely than other study participants to visit the doctor.

Springer concluded that the study should be done on a broader, more diverse population sample to further understand how macho ideals influence men’s health recommendations.

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