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More Britons "self-diagnosing"

New sales figures suggest that Britons are increasingly taking their health into their own hands by self-diagnosing a range of conditions.

Shoppers are set to spend £99m on a range of "self-diagnostic" kits this year, according to market analysts Mintel.

Products which monitor obesity-related conditions have seen the biggest sales increase - up 55% in the past five years.

Sales of all self-diagnostic kits have increased nearly 30% in the past five years.

This market includes all devices used by consumers to self-test or monitor health conditions without professional help.

Spending on the whole range of devices will surge by a further 60% to hit £158m by 2012, Mintel's "self diagnostics" report predicts.

The trend is being fuelled by growing awareness of high obesity rates and a range of health-related issues, the report says.

Mintel senior consumer analyst Alexandra Richmond said: "As a nation we are constantly bombarded with health warnings and are becoming ever more aware of the growing obesity problem.

"This, combined with the fact that people are finding it increasingly difficult to get a doctor's appointment, means many are choosing to go it alone when it comes to their health."


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