AHA: Healthy Docs Tend to Promote Healthy Lifestyle

Doctors who exercise, don't smoke more likely to recommend JNC VII interventions to patients

THURSDAY, March 15 (HealthDay News) -- Primary care physicians who engage in healthy lifestyle behaviors are more likely to recommend the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure (JNC VII) lifestyle interventions to their patients, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association's Epidemiology & Prevention and Nutrition, Physical Activity & Metabolism 2012 Scientific Sessions, held from March 13 to 16 in San Diego.

Olivia Y. Hung, M.D., Ph.D., from Emory University in Atlanta, and colleagues investigated the association between physicians' personal habits and their attitudes and behaviors towards the JNC VII lifestyle interventions. Physician attitudes and behaviors were examined using a voluntary Web-based survey, completed by 1,000 primary care physicians.

The researchers found that 66.5 percent of the physicians recommended all five lifestyle modifications (eating a healthy diet, cutting down on salt, attaining or maintaining a healthy weight, limiting use of alcohol, and being physically active). Compared with physicians younger than 40 years, those aged 40 to 49 were 1.6 times as likely to make all five recommendations. Physicians who did not actively smoke, or who exercised at least once a week, were approximately twice as likely to make these recommendations.

"The probability of recommending all five lifestyle modifications increased with both the physician exercising at least once per week and not having smoked," the authors write.

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