Northern Ireland

One in five people over 50 lie to GPs about health

GP surgery
Image caption A survey has revealed patients from Northern Ireland are the least truthful in the UK

One in five people aged over 50 lie to their GPs about their lifestyle, according to a new survey by Saga.

The UK-wide study asked patients about their visits to the doctor and found a huge number are covering up their health habits.

Northern Ireland turned out to be the least truthful place in the UK.

A quarter of men lie about the amount of alcohol they drink, while one in five women avoid the truth about their diet.

At least 20% of patients tell their GPs fibs about how much exercise they do and 10% lie about their weight, according to the survey conducted by health insurer Saga.

One in five people tell fibs about their stress levels, while 7% refuse to divulge the truth about the number of cigarettes they smoke.

Doctors have warned that lying during medical visits can have dangerous consequences.

Martin O'Kane, a GP from Ballycastle, said people often lie because they don't want to make any changes to their lifestyle.

Others are often worried about what doctors might reveal so choose to play down symptoms.