According to latest Indian research, doctors themselves face the risk of the very diseases they try so hard to prevent and cure.
The research conducted in seven states of India and published in the prestigious Journal of Association of Physicians of India (JAPI) states that young Indian physicians show an alarming tendency to develop hypertension, impaired-glucose tolerance, accumulation of belly fat and increased cholesterol levels. More importantly, this tendency is even greater than that of the general public.
The research was conducted by the India Diabetes Research Foundation and Dr. A. Ramachandran's Diabetes Hospitals of Chennai , capital of India's southern state Tamil Nadu.
The study described in The Hindu, covered almost 2500 physicians in the age group of 25 to 55 years, from urban , semi-urban and rural areas. The study ran from 2004 to 2006 and had a control group comprising 3278 subjects of the general public.
Procedures including recording demography, medical history, smoking, alcohol habits, family history of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases were used to screen the subjects.
At the study's end , the researchers could conclude that Metabolic Syndrome characterized by central adiposity, high levels of cholesterol, blood sugar and hypertension was more common among doctors , than the general public.
Says co-researcher Dr. A. Ramachandran : " Physicians have a high risk of lifestyle diseases though they have among the highest levels of awareness of such diseases and probably are treating their patients for the same."
The editorial noted that it was high time physicians took care of themselves. It cited lack of time, sedentary lifestyle , higher socio-economic status and altruistic tendencies that put the patient before oneself , as reasons for the study findings.
The findings of this Indian study are in concordance with similar ones conducted in Australia, UK and the USA.