24th July 2014
British men are almost twice as likely as women to avoid going to a doctor when experiencing a serious health symptom says new research from protection specialist LV=.
The firm’s analysis found that two thirds at 65%, of working men in the UK have ignored a general health problem, while 7% – totaling 1.2m – chose not to seek medical help after experiencing more serious symptoms, such as tingling, numbness or double vision.
Given than illnesses typically get worse if left untreated for a sustained period of time, male workers are therefore more likely to end up taking long-term sick leave than female workers said the report.
According to the latest figures from ONS, last year there were 50% more men on long-term sick leave than women.
For some men, even suffering from a serious health condition would not be enough to prompt them to seek medical attention. Indeed, the research found that almost half, at 44%, of British men claim that they would not visit their doctor in the event of experiencing chest pains, while more than a third, at 37%, would seek medical advice if they had shortness of breath.
Despite the risk of their condition worsening, for many working men it’s the fear of the unknown that prevents them from making a trip to the doctors. One in 10 cite ‘not wanting to hear bad news’ as one of the reasons for not seeking medical help.
Mark Jones, LV= head of protection said: “A large number of men, in particular, are burying their heads in the sand when it comes to addressing their health concerns. This not only means they’re putting their health at risk but also increases the likelihood that they will have to take long-term sick leave, which can have a significantly negative impact on their finances.
“Whilst no one wants to think about getting ill, the reality is that some people will need to be off work for a long period of time. Having a contingency plan, such as income protection or critical illness cover offers people peace of mind that if they were to fall ill they can focus on getting better without the added worry of making ends meet.”