Women’s Health Concerns in the UK

Research commissioned by the Daily Mail in association with LloydsPharmacy looked into key health concerns and attitudes towards health information providers of women aged 30-80 in the UK.

Women’s Health Concerns in the UK

The author(s)

  • Sarah Corker Associate Director
  • Vera Sara Research Executive
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Key topics to understand included, but were not limited to:

  • Personal health, attitudes to health, health goals
  • Sources of information and advice
  • Medication and health checks taken
  • Supplements and probiotics used
  • Experience and attitudes relating to mental wellbeing, menopause and sexual health

The survey was conducted via Ipsos MORI’s online global panel among a sample 2,002 women aged 30-80 years old across the UK (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland). Interviews were conducted between 26th April and 1st May.  Quotas were set and survey data was weighted by age and region to the known population proportions of women aged 30-80.

All data is ‘claimed’ data and is based on responses given in the survey.

Daily Mail Articles:

Survey data

If you personally had a health concern and needed information or advice, which of the following sources would you be likely to go to/ consult?
Base: All participants

 

Total

Unweighted base

2002

Weighted base

2001

My GP

83%

Website connected to NHS (e.g. www.nhs.uk)

51%

General search of the web

40%

High street pharmacist

27%

NHS direct

25%

Family

19%

NHS nurse

18%

Independent pharmacist

17%

Friends

15%

Website connected to chemists/pharmacist

11%

Books

8%

Leaflets

6%

Nutritionist

2%

Newspaper

2%

TV

2%

Personal trainer

1%

Other health professional

9%

None of the above

1%

I don’t know

1%

 

You said that you would not go / consult your GP about a health concern, or if you needed information or advice. Which, if any, of the following are the reasons for this?
Base: All who would not consult GP

 

Total

Unweighted base

354

Weighted base

340

It is quicker and easier to get information/ advice by other means

44%

It is too difficult to get an appointment at the GP

38%

GP surgery opening times are not convenient for me

12%

I trust other sources more

6%

My query would probably be too specialized for the GP to answer

4%

I'd be too embarrassed to seek help in person

4%

I am not registered with a GP

2%

Other

10%

None of these

14%

I don't know

8%

 

Which, if any, of the following statements best describes your current weight?
Base: All participants

 

Total

Unweighted base

2002

Weighted base

2001

Under weight

3%

Normal weight

42%

Overweight

45%

Obese

8%

Prefer not to answer

1%

 

Which, if any, of the following best describe you and your relationship with dieting?
Base: All participants

 

Total

Unweighted base

2002

Weighted base

2001

I always seem to be on a diet

20%

I occasionally diet (e.g. for a special occasion post-Christmas/pre summer holidays)

43%

I have never been on diet

34%

Prefer not to answer

3%

 

Which, if any, of the following statements best reflect your attitudes to the following health checks / procedures?
Base: All participants

Cervical screening / 'smear' test 

Total

30 – 44 years old

45 – 64 years old

65 – 80 years old

Unweighted base

2002

642

811

549

Weighted base

2001

615

797

589

I regularly seek out this type of appointment

4%

6%

5%

1%

I always attend this appointment when invited

52%

59%

61%

34%

I have missed this type of appointment when invited before

10%

13%

13%

4%

I never attend this type of appointment when invited

5%

7%

4%

2%

I am not currently required to attend this type of appointment

22%

9%

13%

48%

I don't know what this type of appointment is

0%

1%

0%

0%

None of these

5%

6%

3%

8%

I prefer not to say

1%

0%

1%

1%

 

Which, if any, of the following statements best reflect your attitudes to the following health checks / procedures?
Base: All participants

Mammogram (Breast cancer screening test) 

Total

30 – 44 years old

45 – 64 years old

65 – 80 years old

Unweighted base

2002

642

811

549

Weighted base

2001

615

797

589

I regularly seek out this type of appointment

3%

0%

4%

3%

I always attend this appointment when invited

46%

14%

62%

58%

I have missed this type of appointment when invited before

3%

2%

5%

3%

I never attend this type of appointment when invited

3%

3%

3%

2%

I am not currently required to attend this type of appointment

38%

69%

23%

27%

I don't know what this type of appointment is

1%

2%

0%

0%

None of these

6%

9%

3%

5%

I prefer not to say

1%

0%

1%

1%

 

How frequently, if at all, do you engage in sexual intercourse nowadays? By sexual intercourse we mean physically involved in sexual activity with another person.
Base: All participants

 

Total

30 – 44 years old

45 – 64 years old

65 – 80 years old

Unweighted base

2002

642

811

549

Weighted base

2001

615

797

589

More than once a week

10%

18%

9%

3%

Once a week

10%

15%

11%

5%

2-3 times a month

11%

14%

13%

6%

Once a month

5%

7%

5%

2%

Every 2-3 months

6%

8%

6%

5%

Every 6 months

3%

4%

4%

1%

Once a year

1%

2%

1%

1%

Less often

9%

7%

9%

11%

Never

27%

10%

23%

50%

Prefer not to answer

17%

15%

19%

17%

 

Please indicate your level of satisfaction or dissatisfaction with your sex life?
Base: All participants

 

Total

30 – 44 years old

45 – 64 years old

65 – 80 years old

Unweighted base

2002

642

811

549

Weighted base

2001

615

797

589

Very dissatisfied (1)

9%

11%

10%

6%

Fairly dissatisfied (2)

11%

15%

10%

8%

Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied (3)

27%

20%

26%

35%

Fairly satisfied (4)

19%

24%

20%

13%

Very satisfied (5)

17%

18%

16%

17%

Prefer not to answer

17%

13%

18%

22%

 

Which, if any, of the following conditions/feelings have negatively impacted on your sex life in the last 12 months?
Base: All participants

 

Total

Unweighted base

2002

Weighted base

2001

Tiredness

25%

Vaginal dryness

13%

Levels of stress / anxiety

13%

Lack of intimacy with partner

11%

Discomfort / pain

11%

Erectile dysfunction

5%

Premature ejaculation

1%

Other illness

8%

Not applicable

18%

None of these

27%

Prefer not to answer

12%

 

Which, if any, of the following statements best describes your current state of health?
Base: All participants

 

Total

Unweighted base

2002

Weighted base

2001

I'm in good health for my age

39%

I'm in reasonable health for my age

49%

I'm in poor health for my age

9%

I'm in very poor health for my age

3%

I don't know

1%

Prefer not to answer

0%

 

Thinking about your own health and the factors that contribute to a healthier lifestyle, which, if any, of the following are your biggest concerns?
Base: All participants

 

Total

Unweighted base

2002

Weighted base

2001

My weight

49%

The amount of exercise / physical activity I do

44%

My mental health (e.g. depression, stress, anxiety)

30%

My diet

29%

My blood pressure

19%

My cholesterol level

16%

The amount of alcoholic beverages I drink

9%

The amount of cigarettes I smoke

7%

None of the above

16%

Prefer not to answer

1%

 

Which, if any, healthcare conditions do you or members of your family currently have, or have had in the past?
Base: All participants and all with a partner

 

Myself

My partner / spouse

Unweighted base

2002

1401

Weighted base

2001

1399

Alzheimers

0%

1%

Arthritus

18%

11%

Cancer (lung)

0%

1%

Cancer (others, not lung)

5%

5%

Dementia

0%

2%

Diabetes

6%

8%

Heart disease

3%

6%

Lung disease

2%

2%

Liver disease

1%

1%

Mental health issues (e.g. depression)

19%

9%

Osteoporosis

6%

2%

Parkinson's disease

0%

0%

Stroke

2%

3%

Something else not listed

19%

18%

None of these

45%

54%

I prefer not to say

1%

1%

 

For which, if any, of the following medicines that you been prescribed are you particularly worried about potential side effects for?
Base: All who take each kind of prescription medicines

 

Total

Analgesics: reducing pain (e.g. painkillers, paracetamol, ibuprofen, codeine)

30%

Statins: e.g. lovastatin, pravastatin, and simvastatin

35%

Hormone replacements: e.g. oestrogen-only, cyclic combined HRT, continuous combined HRT, Tibolone

40%

Oral contraceptives: e.g. progesterone-only pill, combined pill, “biphasic” pill, and “triphasic” pill

25%

Mood stabilizers: e.g. lithium and valpromide

31%

Tranquilizers: e.g. meprobamate, chlorpromazine, reserpine, chlordiazepoxide, diazepam, and alprazolam

30%

Antibiotics: inhibiting germ growth

12%

Stimulants: e.g. methylphenidate, amphetamine

37%

Antiseptics: prevention of germ growth near burns, cuts and wounds

28%

Antipyretics: reducing fever (e.g. pyrexia/pyresis)

15%

Antimalarial drugs: treating malaria

-

 

Continuing to think about health checks that you can perform yourself.  How regularly, if at all, do you conduct a thorough examination of your breasts?
Base: All participants

 

Total

Unweighted base

2002

Weighted base

2001

Once a week

10%

Several times a month

11%

At least once a month

22%

Every two to three months

17%

Every six months

9%

Once a year

3%

Less often

11%

I never do this type of check

15%

I prefer not to say

2%

 

How confident or not, are you that you are performing this examination accurately?
Base: All who do conduct a thorough examination of their breasts

 

Total

30 – 44 years old

45 – 64 years old

65 – 80 years old

Unweighted base

1666

516

690

460

Weighted base

1666

492

679

495

Very confident

10%

6%

13%

11%

Fairly confident

52%

42%

52%

60%

Not very confident

24%

32%

24%

16%

Not at all confident

10%

17%

8%

6%

Don't know

4%

4%

3%

7%

I prefer not to say

0%

0%

0%

-

 

Which, if any, of the following conditions or feelings would you say that you personally have experienced in the last 12 months?
Base: All participants

 

Total

30 – 44 years old

45 – 64 years old

65 – 80 years old

Unweighted base

2002

642

811

549

Weighted base

2001

615

797

589

Stress

40%

52%

40%

28%

Depression

25%

35%

25%

13%

Anxiety

34%

44%

33%

26%

Panic

12%

16%

13%

6%

Sleeplessness

47%

47%

51%

40%

Poor concentration

24%

31%

27%

11%

None of these

31%

24%

30%

40%

Prefer not to answer

1%

1%

1%

0%

 

Which, if any, of the following, have you done to help tackle these feelings in the last 12 months?
Base: All who have experienced depression in the past 12 months

 

Total

Unweighted base

514

Weighted base

500

Spoke to a GP

45%

Ate comfort food

45%

Got some fresh air/went for a walk

37%

Spoke to a friend/partner/colleague

33%

Exercised

29%

Spoke to a counsellor

16%

Went shopping

15%

Drank alcoholic beverages

12%

Read 'self-help' books

12%

Smoked/vaped

10%

Had a relaxing treatment (e.g. massage)

8%

Connected with people online

7%

Played video games

5%

Sought advice from a pharmacist

1%

None of these

10%

Prefer not to answer

1%

 

Which, if any, of the following symptoms of the menopause have you experienced?
Base: All who are going through menopause

 

Total

Unweighted base

288

Weighted base

281

Hot flushes

77%

Night sweats

63%

Fatigue

61%

Mood swings

51%

Weight gain

47%

Loss of libido

40%

Irregular periods

39%

Vaginal dryness

33%

Hair loss

17%

Incontinence

16%

None of these

2%

Prefer not to answer

-

 

Have you taken any medication to help reduce the symptoms of the menopause?
Base: All who are going through menopause

 

Total

Unweighted base

288

Weighted base

281

I have not taken anything

63%

I have taken natural supplements

18%

I had Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)

17%

I had other prescription medicine

5%

Prefer not to answer

1%

 

Thinking about the Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), to what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statements.
Base: All participants

 

I am very concerned about the side effects of Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)

The benefits of taking Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) outweigh the risks

Unweighted base

2002

2002

Weighted base

2001

2001

Strongly disagree (1)

6%

6%

Somewhat disagree (2)

9%

9%

Neither agree nor disagree (3)

28%

29%

Somewhat agree (4)

21%

17%

Strongly agree (5)

16%

10%

Don't know

20%

30%

The author(s)

  • Sarah Corker Associate Director
  • Vera Sara Research Executive

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