Abstract P136: Healthier Personal Habits Of Primary Care Physicians Increase The Likelihood Of Their Recommending Lifestyle Modifications For Their Hypertensive Patients That Are Consistent With The National Guidelines
Introduction: The Seventh Report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure (JNC VII) recommended lifestyle interventions, either with or without pharmacologic treatment, for all patients with high blood pressure. The objective of this study is to determine the association of physicians’ personal habits with their attitudes and behaviors regarding JNC VII lifestyle modification guidelines.
Hypothesis: Primary care physicians who have healthier habits, as defined by eating more cups of fruits and/or vegetables, exercising more frequently, and/or not smoking, would be more likely to recommend lifestyle interventions consistent with JNC VII than their counterparts who have less healthy habits.
Methods: One thousand primary care physicians completed DocStyles 2010, a voluntary web-based survey designed to provide insight into physician attitudes and behaviors regarding various health issues.
Results: The respondents’ average age was 45.3 years and 68.5% (685 of 1000) were male. In regards to physician behavior, 4.0% (40 of 1000) smoked at least once a week, 38.6% (386 of 1000) ate ≥5 cups of fruits and/or vegetables ≥5 days/week, and 27.4% (274 of 1000) exercised ≥5 days/week. When asked about specific types of advice offered to their hypertensive patients, physicians reported recommending that their patients eat a healthy diet (922 of 1000), or cut down on salt (961 of 1000), or attain or maintain a healthy weight (948 of 1000), or limit the use of alcohol (754 of 1000), or be physically active (944 of 1000). Collectively, 66.5% (665 of 1000) made all 5 lifestyle modification recommendations. Physicians who were between 40 - 49 years old were 1.6 times as likely of making all 5 lifestyle recommendations compared with those who were under 40 years. Additionally, those who exercised at least once per week or did not actively smoke were approximately twice as likely to recommend these interventions.
Conclusions: The probability of recommending all five lifestyle modifications increased with both the physician exercising at least once per week and not having smoked.
- © 2012 by American Heart Association, Inc.