Pfizer’s poll uncovers a healthy contradiction

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Pfizer’s poll uncovers a healthy contradiction

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Many Koreans appear to lack confidence when it comes to their health, though many of them say they look and feel younger than they actually are, according to the results of a survey released yesterday.

Many also responded that they are not adequately preparing for a healthy retirement, despite the fact that the nation’s average lifespan has increased and the senior population continues to expand.

More than half of the respondents in Pfizer Korea’s survey said they look and feel younger than their years, whereas about 20 percent said their appearance made them feel old.

About?50 percent?said?they felt discouraged when they?realized they were aging because of declining strength or other physical reasons.

Dementia and cancer were the two diseases that most concerned respondents (more than 60 percent). In particular, those in their 40s showed a relatively high concern for cancer. About 30.9 percent feared dementia the most, while 28.5 percent were concerned about cancer.

Other worrisome conditions included cardiovascular diseases, arthritis, osteoporosis, neuralgia and cerebrovascular disease.

When asked about measures for prevention, 85.7 percent said they exercise regularly, practice strict dietary control, take dietary supplements, engage in activities for stress management and had regular health checkups, or a combination of those things.

Despite such efforts to stay healthy, only 18 percent said they are satisfied with their level of preparation for a healthy retirement.

In terms of overall retirement, Koreans were most concerned about financial hardship. About 45 percent said financial trouble was a major fear, followed by physical discomfort at 19.6 percent, and illness and disease at 15.7 percent.

When asked about what they value most in life, Koreans across all age groups - except for those in their 60s - chose money as their top priority. That was followed by wisdom and health.

That results were in stark contrast to what respondents said in the United States, where most chose health as their top priority.

Pfizer, a multinational pharmaceutical company, conducted the survey in Korea - the first time it has done so in the Asia-Pacific region - as part of efforts to raise awareness of aging societies. It surveyed respondents in the United States last year.


BY KIM JI-YOON [jiyoon.kim@joongang.co.kr]

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