Millions of Brits have no idea what their normal blood pressure should be, or even how tall they are, a new study has found
A poll of 2,000 adults also discovered more than half don’t know their blood type, and a further 40% could only guess their weight. Worryingly, 35% of respondents say their lack of body knowledge ‘concerns’ them, but just one in four have any plans to do anything about it.
It also emerged the average adult doesn’t begin to take their health seriously until they hit 37, with one in 20 believing they can’t be unwell as long as they remain fit and active.
The study was conducted by Cardiomyopathy UK, whose chief executive Joel Rose said: “Knowing your own body is incredibly important. If you don’t keep in touch with what is normal for you, then you could end up missing early signs of a serious health problem like cardiomyopathy.
“We want people to listen to their body and abandon preconceptions and stereotypes of what a patient with a heart condition looks like. It’s so important to not fall into the trap of thinking that serious heart conditions like cardiomyopathy only affect older people with unhealthy lifestyles.
“This survey has highlighted how many people don’t know their family health history, ignore symptoms and just bury their head in the sand. “With a condition like cardiomyopathy, this is a major problem we need to tackle.”
It also emerged six in 10 Brits could only estimate whether their current blood pressure is normal and healthy, and more than 70% aren’t certain of their resting heart rate. And 62% haven’t got a clue what their BMI – or Body Mass Index – currently is, according to the research conducted through OnePoll.com.
Amazingly, only one in three women would be able to accurately date their last period – despite it being a monthly occurrence. More than 15% of respondents have also got no idea about their family’s medical history, which could contain clues about their own future wellbeing.
A further 13% don’t know if they’ve been given the common MMR injection – normally given to children to ward off measles, mumps and rubella.
The study also found one in seven Brits admit to ‘burying their head in the sand’ when it comes to their health, and 30% will ignore symptoms they don’t think are serious. A quarter of adults also admit to occasionally feeling tired for no real reason, but haven’t explored the reasons why.
Heart issues can affect people of any age, and yet 23% of adults believe someone with a heart problem is likely to be older, overweight and look unfit. And six in 10 respondents believe those who are overweight are at more risk of suffering from a heart condition like cardiomyopathy than anyone else.
Cardiomyopathy UK’s President Perry Elliot said: “At Barts Hospital, we see over 8,000 people each year with cardiomyopathy and I’ve lost count of those that thought they were too young and healthy to have a heart condition.
“The reality, as this research shows, is people are not aware of the important signs their bodies are telling them which are putting them at risk.
“People of all shapes and sizes can be affected by cardiomyopathy and we need to challenge the stereotypes that exist in our society that older, overweight men are the typical heart patient.”