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Worrying "damaging people's health"

People are damaging their health by worrying too much, a new study suggests.

The survey by BUPA UK Health Insurance shows that almost one in five people worry constantly or about a lot of things, while more than half feel they worry more now than they did five years ago.

But this is actually making matters worse by affecting their sleeping patterns, sex drive and appetite, the research added.

The report found that 39% of worriers experience sleepless nights, nearly half have their eating habits affected, while one in eight drink more alcohol in an effort to help them relax.

Dr Paula Franklin, deputy medical director at BUPA UK Health Insurance, said many factors are behind the rise in health concerns.

She added: "The most important and positive factor is rising health awareness, with many people now wanting to know more about their health and how to look after it.

"We are seeing this through increasing numbers of visitors to our free health web pages and more people investing in health assessments to monitor their wellbeing.

"With this increasing interest in health, however, comes a growing awareness of health problems and illnesses - such as cancer, heart disease and obesity - which were the top three health worries identified by BUPA's 2007 Worry Report."


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