‘Fear of bad news’ prevents 1 in 5 Brits from having a health check

There is no doubt that awaiting the results from medical tests can be an anxious time for anyone. However new research revealed today by HeartAge has revealed that when it comes to undertaking a general health check, almost 1 in 5 Brits appear to be opting for the “burying heads in the sand” approach, with`19% stating that concern over test results would prevent them from having a health check. 1 in 10 of those surveyed have convinced themselves that they feel “fine” and so probably don’t need a health check and 12% said they simply “don’t have the time” to be checked over.

Despite Brits putting off health checks, almost three quarters (73%) of those surveyed correctly identified that these checks can help detect the risk of developing certain diseases such as heart disease and strokes.

Interestingly, although 80% of people would opt to have a health check at their doctors surgery, the research also showed that Brits believe pharmacists to be more helpful (53% vs 45%), less judgemental (4% vs 15%) and less stressed (5% vs 21%) than doctors.

The research conducted on behalf of HeartAge also highlighted some of the common misconceptions about what is involved in a cholesterol and heart health check. For example, 7% of women surveyed incorrectly assumed that clothing would have to be removed and for 1 in 6 women, the embarrassment caused by removing clothes would prevent them from taking up the offer to be checked over.

Holly Whelan, Co-founder of HeartAge says: “This research is really interesting and confirmed what we suspected, that emotional factors prevent people from having a health check.” She continued: “People are more likely to refuse a health check because they are scared about the results or embarrassed by the process, rather than simply not having the time to be checked over or finding it an inconvenience. It is really important to tackle these fears, as knowing your numbers is an important step when starting to make lifestyle changes for better health.”

Alison Freemantle, pharmacist at LloydsPharmacy explains: “There is often a misconception that pharmacy is just for dispensing medication, however our teams can provide advice and health checks to support you in a private and comfortable environment.” She continued: “Knowing your cholesterol levels and blood pressure is crucial as it can identify whether you are at risk of developing heart disease or stroke. When these numbers are presented in the form of a HeartAge, it can really help people better understand what these numbers mean.”

The HeartAge test asks you a few simple questions about your body, health and family history and then, taking into account your blood pressure and cholesterol, provides you with one number – your individual heart age. As part of a joint initiative to encourage people to know their numbers, the HeartAge website is featuring an exclusive money off voucher on Cholesterol & Heart Checks at a LloydsPharmacy. Go to www.UKheartage.com.

Holly Whelan says: “Heart disease is the UK's biggest killer and because heart health is such an important issue, we are extremely pleased to be working alongside partner organisations such as LloydsPharmacy, Heart UK and Blood Pressure UK to ensure people are informed about their own heart health”. She continued: “We recognise that people may be nervous and apprehensive about the results from a health check, but a quick visit to the HeartAge website www.UKheartage.com can provide a general picture of your heart health, helping you to feel more prepared and informed so that your next check-up isn’t so daunting.”

Visit www.UKheartage.com to take the HeartAge test and receive a discount on a Cholesterol & Heart Check at a LloydsPharmacy.

About HeartAge

HeartAge is a highly credible behaviour change platform that is proven to motivate people to improve their health. The Heart Age platform triggers people to take action and then provides relevant support by connecting people to a range of accredited solutions that together will improve people’s heart age.

HeartAge is operated under license by Habit Partners - a Community Interest Company that focuses on non-communicable diseases that can be largely prevented through healthy lifestyle and habits. Habit Partners is committed to continually measuring the success of its programmes and reinvest its profits to scale. Habit Partners prides itself on creating “scalable” behaviour change that has a measurable health impact and is financially viable.

To find out your Heart Age, visit: www.UKheartage.com and to find out more about Habit Partners please visit www.habitpartners.com.

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