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Press Release

Research Shows That We Fail To Act On Warning Signs That Could Indicate Major Health Issues

Britons have become so desensitised to warning signs that they regularly place themselves in dangerous situations and put off dealing with health issues, Dr Glenn Wilson a prominent psychologist cautioned today. The Blasé Britain report launched by Corsodyl lays bare the true extent of Britain’s apathy.

Research conducted [1] for the Blasé Britain report reveals that over a quarter (26%) of people ignore common health complaints such as blurred vision, headaches and bleeding gums. 35% of people also admit to ignoring important weather and travel warnings that could affect their personal safety, with one in 14  of these people having suffered a negative consequence as a result.

Eight out of ten people who failed to act on health warnings did not talk to a healthcare professional because:

  • 50% said they felt their condition was normal

  • One third (34%) of people thought there would be no serious consequences of failing to act and

  • 70% felt that their symptoms were not serious enough to bother a doctor

And it’s not just health that we are blasé about. More than half of Brits (55%) admit that they would not immediately vacate a building if a fire or other alarm sounded.

The Blasé Britain report is based on a national study and psychological analysis from renowned psychologist, Dr Glenn Wilson.   The report looks at the warning signs that people encounter in their every day life such as health, travel and weather warnings and the urgency with which we act on such signs.

Dr Glenn Wilson, Fellow of the British Psychological Society commented:  “Much of the reason for ignoring these warnings is down to our perceived risk of a negative consequence, our interpretation of the accuracy of the warning and the immediacy of the threat.  The longer we live with a health issue the more likely we are to view the complaint as normal and this prevents many people from taking action.”

Gareth Ruddock from Corsodyl commented: “We live such busy lifestyles that it can be easy to overlook health symptoms that may lead to more serious illnesses. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in the UK, yet more than one in five of us who have bleeding gums (the first sign of gum disease) ignore the problem as they don’t think there are any serious consequences. “

Dr Wilson added, “The striking finding from this research is that people refuse to make decisions which are essential to their long-term welfare, deliberately ignoring warnings even when they recognise them. Respondents appear to procrastinate and are indifferent to their future showing little regard to the consequences of ignoring warning signs.”

So striking is this tendency to ignore warning signs that could affect our personal wellbeing that experts at Corsodyl have developed a Blasé Britain online tool ( designed to identify how observant and responsive we are to different warning signs.  The tool gives people a personality type and offers insights on how our behaviour may leave us exposed to risk.

Notes to editors
1) The Blasé Britain report is based on research conducted by ICM amongst 2000+ respondents, conducted 20th – 22nd August 2010.

Corsodyl is the UK’s leading treatment for gum disease having sold 5 million units over the last 12 months, more than any other treatment. Corsodyl Mint Mouthwash is an aid in the treatment and prevention of gum disease and contains chlorhexidine digluconate.  Always read the label.

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