New research reveals 'body blindness' amongst millions of Brits

28th November 2018

Follow our 2018 'Heart Bleeps' Campaign that confronts the stereotypes of what people with heart conditions look like, feel or behave. It seeks to encourage people to listen to their bodies and drive public consciousness towards seeking clinical advice if they experience symptoms that could be contributed to cardiomyopathy.

Read about the campaign here

In light of our 2018 campaign, new research was commissioned to examine how aware Brits are of what their bodies are telling them. 

A poll of 2,000 adults discovered more than half of the population don’t know their own blood type, and a further 40 per cent could only guess at their weight.

Worryingly, 35 per cent of respondents say their lack of body knowledge ‘concerns’ them, but just one in four have any plans to do anything about it.

The study was conducted by Cardiomyopathy UK, whose Chief Executive Joel Rose said: “Knowing your own body is incredibly important. 

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."

More than 15 per cent of respondents have also got no idea about their family’s medical history, which could contain clues about their own future wellbeing.

The study also found one in seven Brits admit to ‘burying their head in the sand’ when it comes to their health, and 30 per cent will ignore symptoms they don’t think are serious.

Heart issues can affect people of any age, and yet 23 per cent 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.

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.”

Our supporter stories

Chris Marshall, 44, from West Sussex, was a seemingly young, fit and healthy doctor when a devastating diagnosis changed his life forever. In 2016 he was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy, and a year later, had a pacemaker fitted.

Now Chris is joining our 2018 'Heart Bleeps' Campaign to show heart conditions are not always the result of an unhealthy lifestyle.

Read more about Chris's story

Read our other stories here