Have you spoken to your doctor about your prostate? Have you spoken to your doctor about your bowel cancer risk?

Those were the questions directed at Bay men during Men's Health Week from June 12-18.

The questions were put to men in a men's health survey checklist as part of the nationwide initiative to encourage men to think more seriously about their health.

The "Accuro What's Your Score?" checklist on the menshealthweek.co.nz website tells men about the basic tests they should be getting regularly. The more regularly they were taking those tests, the lower their score.

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Men could take their results to a local Life or Unichem Pharmacy to receive a free "Pit Stop Health Chec" and blood pressure test.

Blokes could challenge their mates to a lower score to help raise awareness about men's health.

Garth Mitchinson from Life Pharmacy in Tauranga said more people had visited the store for a health check and blood pressure test than last year.

"At a guess i would say about a dozen. It is great to see the message is obviously getting out there."

Mr Mitchinson said some men had come in to take advantage of the free service, and some were generally concerned with their health.

"Generally it is the wife or partner who were encouraging their men to get checked which is good too."

He said he took the Accuro What's Your Score? checklist each year for Men's Health Week.

"I am lucky in the fact I score very low but every year there are some things that i need reminding to do."

This year the health partner behind Men's Health Week is the Heart Foundation.

Northern/Midland Heart Health manager Kat MacMillan said there were 172,000 Kiwis living with a heart condition.

"I do not have exact figures for Bay of Plenty, but there would be thousands of men in the Bay who are affected by a heart condition."

Mrs MacMillan said heart disease is the biggest killer of men and women. "There are more than 6000 deaths each year."

She said there were a range of different heart diseases from a heart attack to heart failure and many medical conditions.

"Symptoms can include chest discomfort lasting 10 minutes or more, pain that spreads to the jaw, shoulders or back, excessive sweating, shortness of breath and nausea.

"We are urging people to dial 111 if they feel any of those symptoms."

Mrs MacMillan said many Kiwi men had the "she'll be right" attitude. "They may be feeling quite unwell but they tend to shrug it off.

"We are telling men to look after themselves. It is not always as dramatic as you think."

All men 45 years and older should get a regular heart check at their general practice, said Mrs MacMillan.

"Men of Māori, Pacific or Indo-Asian decent and/or those with known risk factors such as family history, diabetes or smoking should get a check from 35."

Bay men with a heart condition can contact the Heart Foundation's Tauranga branch for more information on 07 5754787.


Small messages with a big impact:

- Men's Health Week June 12-18
- Take the 'Accuro What's Your Score?' checklist at menshealthweek.co.nz
- Healthy eating and just 30 minutes of light exercise daily can reduce your risks of heart disease and increase your overall health and happiness greatly.
- A heart attack is a life-threatening medical emergency. People need to be aware of the symptoms and call 111 immediately.
- Symptoms can include chest discomfort lasting 10 minutes or more, pain that spreads to the jaw, shoulders or back, excessive sweating, shortness of breath, and nausea.
- Anyone who thinks they are having a heart attack should call 111 for an ambulance.
- Call Heart Foundation's Tauranga branch on 07 5754787.