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Weight worries and pregnancy are among the health concerns that drive thousands of people to seek medical advice on Christmas Day, new data shows.
They are among the most popular searches on NHS.uk, the NHS’s official website, on December 25 in recent years.
More than people searched information on pregnancy on Christmas Day. With traditional festive food racking up calories other top searches were for BMI or body mass index, which is a measure of whether you are a healthy weight.
Seasonal ailments such as chest infections and fever also feature heavily but the most popular search was about getting help from a pharmacy or chemist.
Pharmacists are open in most areas on Christmas Day to provide urgent advice and assistance for people whose symptoms are not serious enough to warrant a hospital visit or fill a much need prescription.
NHS England medical director Professor Stephen Powis said: “The NHS is there when you need it, 365 days a year, in person, online and over the phone.
“At the end of our 70th year delivering care, people in England can now depend on a range of ways to get care, at a time and place that suits them.
“As well as A&Es seeing a record high number of visits earlier this year and GP surgeries offering evening and weekend appointments across the country, the NHS 111 phone line now offers clinical advice to more than half of people who call, while over 7000 people get help online at NHS.uk each year.
“This Christmas Day, GP surgeries and pharmacies will be open across the country, and help for anyone who needs it will be there 24 hours a day via NHS 111.”
Analysis of data from NHS.uk for the past five years, released today, shows people searched for more than 7,000 conditions and problems on December 25th last year and a total of 36,000 searches over the last five Christmas Days.
Pharmacies, fever and pregnancy are three most searched terms, with flu and chicken pox completing the top five since 2013.
As well as some common search terms, the conditions and problems that only one person sought help about on December 25th last year were:
- Alcohol poisoning
- Hot flushes
Pharmacies across England will be open throughout the festive period.