One third (33%) of British adults lie to their doctor, a poll shows.
A fifth (20%) said they had told at least one lie to their doctor over the past week, according to the survey from life insurance broker LifeSearch.
Lies include alcohol intake, smoking, illegal drug use and the severity of their symptoms.
For six in 10, withholding the truth has led to serious consequences including a deterioration in mental or physical health, treatment or diagnosis delays or even a hospital stay.
On average, people tell themselves fibs around six times a week, including about the state of their mental health (14%) or finances (10%).
LifeSearch’s Let’s Start Talking campaign aims to encourage people to be more open about the subjects that make them uncomfortable, including mental health, money, illness and death.
Emma Walker from LifeSearch warned that many people aren’t facing up to issues which could affect us in the long term and are even putting their health at risk.
“At LifeSearch we speak to hundreds of people every day who simply aren’t having conversations that could save them serious emotional and financial pain,” she stated. “Rather than lying about issues in the hope they’ll disappear, it’s always best to be open and honest about them, so that if the worst should happen, you’ll be prepared and protected.”