Brits are being urged to ‘check in’ on their health, after research found that a third of UK adults have ignored a symptom of a potentially dangerous medical condition, with a quarter saying it was because they were ‘too British’ and did not want to cause a fuss.
The survey of 2,000 adults in the UK, conducted by Benenden Health, also found that only a third of the nation (35%) regularly check for or monitor any health conditions, putting millions of Brits in danger of undiagnosed illness.
Of the 32% of Brits who have ignored a symptom, the main reasons given were being unable to get a healthcare appointment (30%), thinking others required the medical attention more (28%), being ‘too British’ and not wanting to cause a fuss (27%), believing the NHS was overstretched and wouldn’t have time to see them (27%) and because they were too scared to find out what the issue was (14%).
Meanwhile, only a quarter of the population said that they regularly monitor their blood pressure (24%), one in ten check their cholesterol (13%) and 7% perform regular checks for cancer, whilst 8% revealed that they don’t regularly check for or monitor any conditions because they don’t know how to.
The most common symptom that UK adults said they would currently visit a GP about was revealed to be regular chest pain, with six in ten (59%) saying they would seek medical advice for this, but fewer than half of UK adults would visit their GP if they noticed a change to an existing mole (48%), identified a change in bowel habits/stools (44%), found a newly-identified mole (41%) or experienced weight loss (28%).
Benenden Health is on a mission to support the nation’s health by encouraging individuals to learn about their bodies and understand the key medical warning signs and symptoms to look out for, as well as checking in on the health of their loved ones.
The call comes as part of the mutual’s ‘Time for a check in’ campaign, launched this week in partnership with Channel 4.
Face of the campaign, AJ Odudu, said: “I know first-hand how when things get busy, our health can be the first thing to take a backseat. I’ve definitely been guilty of taking my physical and mental health for granted at times and have only realised this at times when my body hasn’t worked in the way I’ve wanted it to.
“I believe that good health is of core importance to our happiness and that’s why it’s so important to make sure we’re checking in and looking after ourselves. If you’ve noticed some changes and something doesn’t look or feel right, talk to someone, see a professional and put your health first: it’s no fuss at all.”
Cheryl Lythgoe, Matron at Benenden Health, added: “There is nothing to be embarrassed about when it comes to giving your body the once over and seeking medical advice if you notice something that doesn’t seem quite right.
“By educating ourselves so we can identify and understand the signs and symptoms of common medical conditions, regularly checking in with our friends and family and seeking attention if we do spot something – we can increase peace of mind, get appropriate and timely treatment where necessary and ultimately, improve the nation’s health.”