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Southport Reporter® covering the news on Merseyside.

Date:- 27 March 2006

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WHITE British men may be much slower to seek medical help for chest pain than South Asian men because of fears they would be seen as 'wimps'. The research findings 'If I'm poorly, I go to the doctor, simple as that' were presented at The Royal College of Nursing Research Conference in York on Thursday 23 March 2006.

The study by Paul Galdas, Lecturer at University of Sheffield, interviewed white men and 1st generation South Asian men (Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi) who had been admitted to 2 hospitals in the North of England with acute chest pain.  It found a majority of white men thought visiting their GP or calling 999 when suffering from chest pains was a threat to their masculinity. They feared they would be seen as a 'wimp' by their families, friends and work colleagues. As a result, they kept their symptoms to themselves and had to endure the pain, sometimes for days.

South Asian men on the other hand, who had been brought up in the Indian sub-continent and moved to the UK in the last 20 years, had distinctly different perceptions of how visiting a doctor impinged on their masculine identity. They confided in their friends and families when they experienced chest pains, and were more willing to visit their GP. They did not feel that seeking medical help would threaten their masculinity.

Mr Galdas said:- "Some men's desire to 'live up' to a macho image has a real influence on their decision to delay calling a doctor when experiencing chest pains. But not all men in the UK behave in the same way, as some South Asian men appear to have no problem in contacting a doctor when they experience chest pain. The study has shown a real need to take these cultural differences into account when planning and delivering healthcare services aimed at men at risk of heart disease".

Comments from study participants:-

A 49 year old white man told an ambulance worker:- "I kept on going to work despite having chest pains, I am not a softy".

A 41 year old Pakistani Muslim man said:- "I've always gone to the doctors straight away when I think something is wrong. There is nothing embarrassing about it. If I am poorly, I go to the doctor, simple as that".

Coronary heart disease is the leading cause of premature death for men in the UK. The death rate is almost twice as high for South Asian men, so prompt diagnosis and treatment is needed and men delaying treatment are putting themselves at risk.

Mr Galdas said:- "The study also suggested that some South Asian men who have been brought up in the UK may abandon South Asian cultural notions of masculinity in favour of a western 'macho identity', which may have a detrimental impact of their health.

This was highlighted by one South Asian man in the study who had been educated in the UK and had similar views as the white British men. 

He delayed calling a doctor for over 8 hours because he feared his colleagues would see him as having a low threshold for pain and that he would be labelled a 'wimp'".

New Dispatches programme seeks transport horror stories

CHANNEL 4 has commissioned SMG TV Productions, in association with Vivum Intelligent Media, to make a film examining Britain's creaking transport system, and the productions team is looking for your transport horror stories.  Presented by Bob Kiley, the controversial New Yorker who recently resigned as London's Transport Commissioner, this one-hour Dispatches film will examine road, rail and bus networks, focusing on the problems we face in our daily commute.  The production team is looking for members of the public to send footage taken with cell-phone cameras or home videos of nightmare journeys and transport horror stories by bus, car or rail to inform their research.

Kiley, who revolutionised New York's commuter system before coming to London to work for Mayor Ken Livingstone, will investigate why the UK's transport system provides such a poor service. He will attempt to travel the length and breadth of Britain using public transport, to gain an understanding of the fundamental errors in the system.

Jim Manson, Executive Producer for SMG TV Productions said:- “This programme presents a case for a major overhaul of the way our transport system operates but in order to offer solutions, we need input from the public. Millions commute every day and we want to hear all about their experiences.”

The production team includes producer Nick Rosen and producer/director Rosalind Bain from Vivum Intelligent Media Ltd and executive producer Jim Manson from SMG TV Productions.

Please send any footage to  Members of the public can contact the production team directly on 07971 543703.


IMPROVISED classical musical group, Frakture, are holding another of their popular gigs with guest stars.  Emily Hay and Chao-Ming Tung are playing alongside Russell and Webster at St Bride's Church, Catharine Street, Liverpool on Friday 24 March 2006 at 8pm.

Frakture have held concerts in Liverpool tunnels and under the city's domes in the past and now hold a series of improvisational music workshops for all ages and abilities. The organisation is supported by the Liverpool Culture Company.


ARTISTS and writers who range from schoolchildren to former homeless people are launching an exhibition about their Mersey memories.  Undercurrents - Tales of River City People involves Liverpool citizens of all ages who travelled on the ferry across the Mersey. While aboard, visual artists and writers told tall ship tales and wove fishermen's yarns. Participants then recorded their impressions of the river through a variety of media; digital photography, writing and drawing.

Squash is organising the project in conjunction with Windows Poetry project with support from the Liverpool Culture Company. Clare Owens from Squash said:- "We are really looking forward to celebrating what has been an incredible project. We have been privileged to hear people's memories and stories of the Mersey, some of which were hilarious and others very touching. The resulting works produced by Liverpudlians from all walks of life all share the spirit of the Mersey and demonstrate the poetry of its wonderful people".

The Squash artists on the Undercurrents project are Clare Owens and Becky Vipond and both are available for interview.

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