What you told us makes you sick

Almost 4000 YourLifeChoices members took part in our 2018 Retirement Matters Survey, and it seems most of you are a healthy lot, without serious illnesses.

When asked if you were on medications and for what condition, a brave 3864 respondents anonymously volunteered their details.

While just over 38 per cent were taking medication to treat high blood pressure, known as hypertension, surprisingly few other conditions afflicted most respondents.

The next most common medication was a treatment to lower blood cholesterol (17.6 per cent), followed by drugs for osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis (13.6 per cent).

The next 12 top medical conditions suffered by members were:

  • heart conditions (10 per cent)
  • diabetes (8.7 per cent)
  • mental issues including depression, anxiety, bipolar and schizophrenia and  (7.45 per cent)
  • thyroid (7.1 per cent)
  • pain (4 per cent)
  • asthma (3.5 per cent)
  • cancer, including of the breast, prostate, lung and pancreas (2.7 per cent)
  • gout (1.57 per cent)
  • prostate issues (1.47 per cent)
  • blood clots/thinners (1 per cent)
  • gastric reflux/indigestion (0.88 per cent)
  • kidney (0.7 per cent)


No respondents admitted to being treated for dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, but 0.33 per cent said they were on medication for Parkinson’s disease.

Fibromyalgia, a little-understood condition that involves daily and persistent exhaustion, joint pain, stomach troubles, headaches and brain fog, was suffered by 0.52 per cent of members, three times more than those with multiple sclerosis.

Australia-wide there are 25,600 people with multiple sclerosis. Yet there are estimates of up to 1.25 million Australians, mostly women, who suffer from fibromyalgia and the closely related condition known as myalgic encephalomyelitis, once referred to as chronic fatigue.

I mention this because there is a major focus on researching a cure for multiple sclerosis, and millions of dollars in grants going towards causes related to multiple sclerosis, even though only one in 1000 Australians are afflicted with this disease.

On the other hand, around one in 20 Australians have fibromyalgia and its related conditions, but no such attention nor funding exists to find a reliable diagnosis or treatment.

Do you believe there is a shortage of funds to help researchers find a cure for certain diseases? Do you have a health condition that the medical world, politicians and society considers is unimportant?

Related articles:
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What body aches mean
Causes of hypertension

Written by YourLifeChoices Writers

YourLifeChoices' team of writers specialise in content that helps Australian over-50s make better decisions about wealth, health, travel and life. It's all in the name. For 22 years, we've been helping older Australians live their best lives.

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