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Younger doctors prescribe more drugs to reduce heart risk but offer less lifestyle advice
Date:5/16/2011

ts (13%) and diabetologists (9%). The youngest age group included the fewest GPs (53%) and most cardiologists (31%), with the highest percentage of GPs in the 46-55 age group (86%).

Just over half of the patients (54%) were male. The average age was 67 and the ages of the patients treated by the doctors in the various age groups was very similar. However, doctors over 55 tended to treat more male patients, obese patients and smokers.

Key findings of the study included:

  • High blood pressure was the most common CV risk factor, affecting 75% of patients, followed by abnormal lipid (cholesterol and/or fat in the blood) in 59% of patients and diabetes mellitus in 37%. In each case, the percentage was highest in patients managed by doctors under 45.

  • Blood pressure drugs were the most commonly prescribed, by 83% of doctors under 45, 78% of doctors aged 46-55 year-old and 80% of doctors over 55. However, not all patients with high blood pressure were prescribed drugs, regardless of the age of their physician. This is consistent with research that shows that high blood pressure is widely undertreated and a key element in the global burden of CV disease in western countries.

  • Younger doctors were also more likely to prescribe antidiabetic drugs, lipid-lowering agents and antiplatelet agents than their older colleagues.

  • Older doctors were more likely to recommend lifestyle changes. Smoking cessation advice was highest in doctors over 55 and diet and exercise advice highest in doctors aged 46-55.

  • Older doctors also tended to be more thorough and accurate when it came to recording clinical data on their patients. Previous analysis of the data provided showed a close relationship between high levels of accuracy and better CV outcomes.

"Our study demonstrated a significantly higher prevalence of major CV risk factors and associated clinical conditions among patients treated
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Contact: Annette Whibley
annette.wizard@gmail.com
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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