Doctors with good habits advise patients

March 15, 2012 at 2:00 AM

ATLANTA, March 15 (UPI) -- Physicians who practice healthy habits personally are more likely than other doctors to recommend lifestyle modification to patients, U.S. researchers suggest.

Lead author Dr. Olivia Y. Hung, of Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and colleagues Nora L. Keenan and Dr. Jing Fang, surveyed 1,000 U.S. physicians about their lifestyles and whether they recommended national guideline lifestyle modifications to patients with high blood pressure.

The healthy lifestyle included eating healthy, limiting sodium, maintaining a healthy weight, limiting alcohol consumption and becoming more physically active.

The survey of doctors indicated:

-- 4 percent smoked at least once a week.

-- Almost 39 percent ate the recommended five or more cups of fruits and vegetables a week.

-- About 27 percent exercised five or more days a week.

-- About 66 percent made all five lifestyle recommendations to patients.

In addition, the study found doctors who exercised at least once a week or didn't smoke were about twice as likely to recommend the five interventions.

The findings were presented at the American Heart Association's Epidemiology and Prevention/Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism scientific sessions in San Diego.

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