Press release

Saga Good Health guides

Monday 31 July 2006

Saga Health Manager provides a tailored Personal Health Profile and information on the best hospitals across the UK

Today's over 50s already take a keen interest in their health and well being and Saga is encouraging this trend by launching a suite of online tools to help them access key information on the subject.

In order to help people be better able to manage their own health care decisions, Saga has designed a suite of on-line products to help them. The Saga Health Manager is an interactive new service designed to help the over 50s assess their health, and get information on the best hospitals and consultants in their area and beyond.

Inputting a few details about your lifestyle and where you live produces a Personal Health Profile, which identifies the five most common reasons for being admitted to hospital, depending on age, sex and postcode. It then shows the risk of someone fitting your profile going to hospital with those conditions and compares that risk with the national average. You can also chart how those risks change over time, looking at up to 28 different conditions and treatments.

The Personal Health Profile also calculates Body Mass Index, which indicates whether you are overweight, the site also gives links for advice to help lose weight. This is useful at a time when obesity continues to hit the headlines, 23.6% of men and 23.8% of women in the UK are classed as obese, this has risen from 13.2% and 16.4% respectively since 1993.*

After filling out a few lifestyle questions, the Personal Health Profile will also be able to show people how at risk they are from heart disease and gives tips on what people can do to reduce this.

Data from the Health Manager shows that, based on their population profiles Tendring in Essex, has the highest predicted risk in England for heart disease; Birmingham in the West Midlands has the highest predicted risk for Diabetes while Bexhill and Rother, East Sussex, has the highest predicted risk for colon cancer."

As for stroke, the figures show that 130,000 people in the UK have a stroke every year, mostly affecting people over 65. The elderly are at an above-average risk for bowel, breast and lung cancer. Pensioners living in their own homes who have relatively active lifestyles make up just 7.9 per cent of the population yet account for 12.3 per cent of all admissions for bowel cancer.

Andrew Goodsell, Chief Executive of Saga, says: "Our business has been founded on understanding the needs of over 50s and we know that health and well being is a key concern for this age group. The Health Manager is a very useful tool, giving people advice and solutions to their own health needs."

By revealing how each hospital compares to others in the UK, customers and their GPs can get a better idea of which hospitals could be the best for them. This service has been extended to include a consultant guide enabling people to find out the surgeons closest to them that specialise in the areas most appropriate for their needs.

Andrew Goodsell continued: "At a time where there are more options than ever before about where and when people receive treatment, both from the private sector and the NHS, having access to a source of information that you can trust is increasingly important."


Notes to editors:

*NHS health survey 2004

For further press information please contact the Saga Press Office on: 01303 771529.



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