Seven million Britons lie to their GP – because they're too scared to hear the diagnosis
14% of patients polled admitted misleading a medicA third did so because they were embarrassed while a quarter held back due to worry about the diagnosis
16:06 GMT, 1 February 2013
16:18 GMT, 1 February 2013
You would think the privacy of the doctor's office would invite patients to reveal all, yet a survey has found seven million Britons lie to their GP.
The poll revealed 14 per cent of patients admitted misleading a nurse or doctor about their symptoms for various reasons.
While a third withheld the truth to avoid embarrassment, a quarter held back because they were so worried about what the diagnosis might be.
Worried: A quarter of those who lie to there GPs say it's because they are frightened about their diagnosis
Meanwhile nearly 20 per cent said they lied because they were scared about getting told off about their poor lifestyle habits.
Some don't even get as far as the surgery door, as a third said they share their symptoms with a family member when they are sick rather than visit their GP.
The study by the health information website Patient.co.uk also revealed two thirds of us now check our symptoms online before consulting professionals.
Dr Sarah Jarvis, clinical consultant at Patient.co.uk, said: 'With the wealth of information available online, it's no wonder that it's more convenient to turn to the web, however it's important that people receive accurate and appropriate advice so they can take action early if needed.
'I would always encourage people to seek advice from trusted sources, whether that be a GP, health professional or a clinically-backed website, so that patients can be confident that they are receiving the correct information.'
Two thirds of us check out our symptoms online before booking an appointment
The study by Patient.co.uk has been released to mark the launch of a new, free online health assessment tool called MyHealth.
Scientists at the University of Glasgow recently discovered that we find it harder to drag ourselves to an appointment straight after the weekend due to Monday morning blues.
Feeling low makes us feel less able to cope with the prospect of being given bad news, having an unpleasant treatment, or even dealing with abrupt medical staff.
However, by Friday the psychological boost of nearing the end of the working week boosted their resilience and so improved attendance.