Testing at convention finds doctors don’t practice what they preach

A total of 45% had high blood pressure readings, even though an average of a fifth of Israelis have hypertension.

January 12, 2016 01:38
1 minute read.
A doctor stands with stethoscope in this undated handout photo.

A doctor stands with stethoscope in this undated handout photo.. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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Many doctors don’t follow their own advice to patients, according to a study published recently in Harefuah, the Hebrew-language journal of the Israel Medical Association.

Physicians at the glaucoma unit at Meir Medical Center in Kfar Saba, ophthalmology department unit at Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center and metabolic unit at Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center examined 118 doctors at an IMA national convention who had a mean age of 52 (=/-10.8 years) who attended an IMA conference. There were 72 men and 46 women doctors tested.

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They checked their weight, height, eyes’ intraocular pressure, and blood pressure on the spot. The results were that 73 percent of them were overweight or obese (with a body mass index over 25). Nine percent had excess levels of HbA1c indicating high blood sugar, and 22% had high blood cholesterol.

A total of 45% had high blood pressure readings, even though an average of a fifth of Israelis have hypertension.

In addition, even though doctors recommend that everyone over the age of 40 start going for a (painless) comprehensive exam with an eye doctor, 14% had a positive family history for glaucoma, but an incredible 26% had never before had their eyes examined by an ophthalmologist.

The team’s conclusions were that a “substantial number of health care providers had inadequate practices” for themselves undergoing screening tests for glaucoma and risk for diabetes. “This suggests that more efforts should be invested to stimulate and optimize screening practices among members of the medical community,” they stated.

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