People in their 60s are ignoring signs of ill health as they fear they will be dismissed as hypochondriacs or are convinced their condition will improve, a new government report has shown.
Figures from the Department of Health show that almost a third (31 per cent) of over-60s delay visiting their GP because they think their health problem will go away without treatment.
Almost two-thirds (62 per cent) of respondents ignore their health issue as they believe it is not worth reporting, with this figure rising to 71 per cent for men.
Furthermore, around half of survey respondents do not report health problems because they believe they will be branded "time wasters" for doing so, while a similar proportion are concerned they will be labelled hypochondriacs.
Professor Ken Fox, an expert in older people's health from Bristol University, said: "We are not saying your body won't change as you get older, it will, but it is important to get any unusual twinges and niggles checked out by a GP at the earliest opportunity rather than burying your head in the sand."
Despite Professor Fox's warning, one in ten over-60s would prefer not to know if they have a serious health problem.
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