Urology awareness worryingly low

Nearly half of all people within the United Kingdom do not know what the field of urology entails and many more are too embarrassed to go to their doctor for help with a urological condition, a survey carried out by The Urology Foundation has revealed.

The survey – the biggest TUF has ever done – had over a thousand respondents from all over the United Kingdom. We talked to people from all different walks of life; young and old, in work and out of work, men and women, and below is what we discovered.

Men are more likely to suffer from urological diseases than women, so it is worrying that the results of the survey showed male unfamiliarity with urology was more common with a total of 45% of the respondents either not knowing the areas that it covered or what urology was at all.

Male urology awareness 

It is also the case that the younger you are, the less likely you are to know about the field. Almost two thirds of 16-24 year olds were unaware of which branch of medicine urology actually covers. 

The survey also shows that men are most likely to find talking about urological concerns embarrassing, with 39% of them expressing that they were unwilling to mention it. Age was also a factor in potential embarrassment.

Age based awareness

As we can see, it is true to say that as people get older, there is a sharp fall in the level of embarrassment. This highlights that while some elderly people are unwilling to speak about their issues, it is a particular problem among young people.

Also striking were figures that showed that as a society, the higher the socio-economic group to which you belong the more likely you were to be embarrassed about urological problems.

- 39% of people in category AB (upper middle class, skilled workers) were embarrassed

- Only 30% of people in category DE (working class, semi or unskilled workers) answered the same way

- 39% of all those in full-time employment were also embarrassed

- Whereas only a quarter of retired people were reluctant to speak about it

- Students are most embarrassed, with almost a half finding it awkward to talk about such issues

The one positive for men is that they are more likely to seek immediate treatment for a urological condition.

When asked what they would do if they experienced incontinence, nearly half of all men said they would seek a doctor’s advice immediately, compared to only 38% of women. 40% of women were willing to wait to see if it got worse, with only a quarter of men saying the same.

These figures demonstrate that while urological conditions become increasingly common, especially with old age, there are still many people who find it embarrassing to speak about the issue as a whole. 

One in every two people will suffer from a urological condition during their lifetime and it is important that they are not only aware of what their symptoms may mean, but that they are willing to seek medical help when they need to. Early diagnosis is key to better outcomes, and so consequently, our findings demonstrate that patient outcomes may be compromised as long as this current situation continues.

Data compiled by Hartley PR.


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