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Have you ever lied to your doctor?

December 11, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
A new survey shows lying to your doctor is a common habit.Have you ever lied to your doctor? What do you lie about? A recent survey shows they're not alone.

Fifty-two percent of women reported that they routinely lie to their doctors. And a quarter didn't think it was a big deal. Dr. Michael Weaver says that's a common misconception.

"Something that a doctor would consider important, a patient may not recognize a connection to," said addiction specialist Dr. Michael Weaver.

Some of the most common lies involve the denial of smoking, drinking, having an STD or saying you use sunscreen when you really don't.

Many patients say they lie out of fear, embarrassment or because they want approval from their doctor.

"It's much more important to be honest and try to be accurate," said Dr. Weaver.

If you really do smoke, you may not heal as well after surgery. If you do drink, your doctor may not prescribe certain meds. If you have an STD, delayed treatment can lead to fertility problems or even cervical cancer. If you don't use sunscreen, your doctor may not perform important screening tests, and certain drug interactions can kill you. Telling the truth erases all these potential dangers.

So when it comes to your health, remember honesty is the best policy.

And some patients will go to great lengths to cover themselves up. In a Johns Hopkins study, researchers looked at people with asthma. Seventy-three percent of patients said they used their inhaler three times a day, but only 15 percent were actually doing that. And 14-percent deliberately emptied their inhalers before their appointments to make themselves look good.


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