Body hang-ups prevent UK women to have health checkup, finds new HeartAge research

New research suggests UK women could be at risk, as body hang-ups prevent them from finding out how healthy they are

New research revealed today by HeartAge has found that almost four million British women are putting their own health at risk, as they are too embarrassed to have a health check. The new insights showed that 16% of adult women in the UK, or 3.9 million, would turn down the chance to have a health check because they may have to remove their clothes, causing them embarrassment and anxiety. Interestingly, only 7% of men admitted that having to remove clothes would put them off having a health check. The research also found that over a third of women (34%) would in fact rather go for a health check in a pharmacy instead of a doctor’s surgery, provided there was a private room available.

In addition, almost a quarter (22%) of women would refuse to go for a health check because they are worried what the results would be, but for men, this thought only occurs to 15%. Perhaps due to this anxiety, 1 in 8 women convince themselves that they feel fine and so probably don’t need a health check.

It appears that emotional factors are driving this behavior in British women rather than ignorance or a lack of knowledge, as almost three quarters (73%) of women know that a health check could help detect the risk of developing certain diseases, allowing themselves more time to take the measures necessary to stay healthy. Similarly, over half of women (56%) know that by attending a checkup, they’ll be given advice on how to stay healthy and lower the risk of these diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes and strokes.

Holly Whelan, Co-founder of HeartAge says:

This research is really interesting and confirmed what we suspected, that emotional factors prevent some women from having a health check.

She continued:

HeartAge data shows that over half of women over 40 are overweight, and this could be one of the reasons why some women are embarrassed to remove their clothes. The reality is, you shouldn't have to remove any clothes and it is really important to tackle these fears, as heart disease is the biggest killer of women globally - knowing your numbers is an important step when starting to make lifestyle changes for better health.

The research showed that the practical issues regarding a health check are more prevalent in men than women, as 1 in 6 British males say they don’t have time for a check-up. However, only 5% of women said having to take time off work would put them off going for a medical check-up.

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.

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.

Holly Whelan says:

We recognise that people may be nervous and apprehensive about 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.

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The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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