Self-confidence about health impacts how often we visit doctor, study shows

Self-confidence about health impacts how often we visit doctor, study shows


Self-confident people tend to be comfortable in their own skin. They believe in themselves and aren’t afraid to take risks. Those of us less sure of ourselves look on with envy.

But take solace, thee of little faith. You might just be healthier than that person strutting around like a peacock.

A study out of the University of Vienna shows self-confidence can lead someone to overestimate how healthy they are. As a result, they don’t go to the doctor as often as they should. And that can allow time for illnesses to take root and threaten well-being.

Scientists looked at data involving more than 80,000 Europeans age 50 and older who provided a self-evaluation of their health. Researchers found that people who overestimated their health visited the doctor 17% less frequently than those who more realistically assessed their health.

And as you might imagine, the opposite holds true. People who tended to underestimate their health, thinking they were sicker than was true, visited the doctor 21% more often.

While that might take a bigger bite out of their wallet, it makes sense that those folks tend to catch health problems before they spiral out of control.

Most of the people quizzed about their health tended to be on the money with their self-assessment — 79% accurately gauged their health.

One thing to remember, too, is that research indicates self-confidence can encourage riskier behavior. That leads to more accidents, heavier drinking and eating an unhealthy diet.

These folks also tend to earn higher salaries, research shows.

So, while self-confidence can be a great thing, too much of it can get you into trouble.

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