Hastings Direct

Survey reveals men's attitude to health as insurance broker pledges support for new foundation

14th March 2011

Insureblue supports the Blue Ribbon Foundation

  • 1 in 5 men have not seen a doctor in the last 3 years — 2% have never seen one.
  • Two thirds of men have family history of cancer, stroke, heart disease — but more than half have not had basic healthcare checks in last year.
  • Only 65% of men would definitely consult a doctor if experiencing chest pain.

A new survey about men's attitude to healthcare reveals that men are reluctant to consult with healthcare professionals — despite two thirds of those surveyed having significant medical family histories more than one in five men (21%) have not visited a GP, or healthcare professional in the last 12 months — and 2% admit they have never seen one.

The survey was undertaken by insure Blue which today launches its fundraising support for the new Blue Ribbon Foundation. Insureblue will donate £10 for every bike, home and car insurance policy sold on its web site to the Blue Ribbon Foundation which has been created to raise awareness about male cancers and male health issues. £1 for every travel insurance policy sold will also be donated.

insurepink.co.uk, the sister site to insureblue, raises over £1,000 a week for the Pink Ribbon Foundation charity which supports breast cancer charities funding research, specialist equipment and nurses.

The survey asked 1,000 men aged over 18 (73% were aged over 45) about their views on health and their attitude to seeing healthcare professionals and undergoing basic health checks — measuring weight, blood pressure, diabetes and cholesterol. Overall only 14% admitted to being happy to see a doctor if needed whilst a third revealed that they will only go to the doctors if their partners encourage them, or they really have to. Survey results below — disease incident rates etc in notes to editor.

Andy Kirton, business development director, insureblue: "We are proud to be able to support the work of the Blue Ribbon Foundation and believe it will be a tremendous success based on the public support that has been shown for insurepink. Insurance products are pretty generic and it is fantastic that just by the simple act of buying competitively priced insurance through us, ordinary people are doing extraordinary things. With insurepink and the Pink Ribbon Foundation we have helped over 68 breast cancer charities in the last year. We hope that the public will continue to show their support for men, male cancers and men's health issues by supporting insureblue and in turn, the work of the Blue Ribbon Foundation."

Jonathan Prince, chair of trustees, Blue Ribbon Foundation: "I am delighted that in these difficult financial times that insureblue will enable many individuals to donate whilst getting a fair insurance deal. Us men need to do more to look after ourselves. I speak to many women and who are more concerned about their partners. These donations will enable us to change men's attitudes to their overall health.

Mr Krishna Sethia, Medical Director and Consultant Urologist at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital: "I welcome any positive move that will make men more aware of health issues relating to themselves. Men are often too embarrassed to discuss their symptoms but they need to, as early diagnosis can make a significant difference to their chances of successful treatment. "I support the efforts of the Blue Ribbon Foundation in getting men to talk more openly about their health and I wish the foundation every success."

Survey results

  • 42% of men believed their health to be good or very good.
  • 21% believed they were the right weight for their height.
  • 9% had never weighed themselves.
  • 41% acknowledged that they had weight issues — 21% admitted to being at least a stone overweight, whilst 22% admitted to being overweight or obese.

Nearly half (44%) had not had their blood pressure checked in the last year. Of those who had had it checked over a third (35%) had discovered some issue with 26% needing additional monitoring and 9% further investigations.

  • More than half had not had their cholesterol checked in the last year (58%).
  • 30% had never had their cholesterol checked.
  • 41% had never been tested for diabetes, yet only 36% would definitely see a doctor if they suffered from increased urination — one of the symptoms of diabetes.

66% of men had parents or grandparents who had suffered from cancer, stroke or heart disease, yet when asked about whether they would consult a doctor if they experienced some of the common symptoms of these diseases, the results were shocking:

  • 6% would never consult a doctor if they experienced chest pain, 26% profuse sweating, 9% blood in urine/semen, 14% blurred vision and 9% breathlessness.
  • Only 65% would definitely consult a doctor for chest pain, 25% profuse sweating, 82% blood in urine/semen, 48% blurred vision, 55% breathlessness.

Top conditions for definitely visiting a doctor

  1. Blood in urine/semen — 82%
  2. Chest pain — 65%
  3. Breathlessness — 55%
  4. Blurred vision — 48%
  5. Increased urination — 36%

And what percentage never would visit a doctor:

  1. Weight gain — 59%
  2. Low libido — 40%
  3. Profuse sweating — 24%
  4. Blurred vision — 12%
  5. Breathlessness — 9%

For a motor, bike, travel or home insurance quote to support the Blue Ribbon Foundation visit insure Blue

Notes to Editor

The online survey was conducted independently by SurveyShack.com from March 1st–March 9th. All results are based on the replies of the 1010 respondents — all male and aged over 18.

UK Males and Disease

There are 29.9 million men in the UK population (2007 data, National Office for Statistics) Data from this survey reflected through the UK male population means:

  • 1.8m men would never consult a doctor if experiencing chest pain.
  • 7.8m men would never consult a doctor if experiencing profuse sweating.
  • 2.7m men would never consult a doctor if experiencing blood in urine/semen.
  • 2.7m men would never consult a doctor if experiencing breathlessness.
  • 4.2m men would never consult a doctor if experiencing blurred vision.


Cancer incidence in UK males as a percentage of all cancers, 2007

Prostate (24%), Lung (15%) and Bowel (14%). These three cancers account for over half (53%) of all male cancers in the UK. (Source: Cancer Research UK).

Heart Disease

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the main cause of death in the UK. It is responsible for 38%. About half of all deaths from CVD in the UK are from coronary heart disease (CHD) and about a quarter are from stroke.

In 2003, CHD caused just under 114,000 deaths a year in the UK: approximately one in five deaths in men. This compares to around 33,000 deaths a year from lung cancer and 16,000 deaths from bowel cancer of all deaths. (Source: British Heart Foundation)

About the Blue Ribbon Foundation

The Blue Ribbon Foundation (charity number applied for) has three very important objectives…

  • To raise awareness of male health issues — particularly cancer.
  • To use the Blue Ribbon as a 'rallying banner' to help bring about awareness; and to encourage other male health charities to adopt the ribbon.
  • To support other male health and cancer charities by offering grants.

The Blue Ribbon Foundation has no paid staff. We pledge to distribute the profits from our work to relevant charities who require funding for specific projects and who make successful application to the Blue Ribbon Foundation. Visit www.blueribbonfoundation.org.uk for more information.

About the Pink Ribbon Foundation

The Pink Ribbon Foundation Charity Number 1080839 is a grant making trust with a mission to fund projects and provide financial support to UK charities which relieve the needs of people who are suffering from, or who have been affected by breast cancer or who work to advance the understanding of breast cancer, its early detection and treatment. Visit www.pinkribbonfoundation.org.uk for more information.

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