One generally expects doctors know how to avoid lifestyle diseases like diabetes and how to beat them. However, a new study conducted on the doctors of one of the medical colleges in Bhopal claims that 22% doctors were in 'high risk' category for diabetes, 44% were under 'moderate risk' category and while 8% were diabetics.
These are the findings of a study 'diabetes prevalence and its risk factors in the People's Medical College faculty of Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, conducted by Dr Sanjay Kumar Gupta, an associate professor in department of community medicine, Peoples College of Medical Sciences and Research. Dr Neeraj Khare from the same college and Sonali Khare from Peoples Pharmacy College, Bhopal, are the associates in the survey.
"It may appear surprising to you that such a high number of doctors are susceptible to diabetes and nearly one in every ten doctors is suffering from diabetes despite knowing everything on how to minimize the diabetic risk and take other preventive measures; however, the truth is that even doctors live a sedentary life without much physical activity. This increases diabetic risk in them. Our study found that 57% of doctors belong to mild physical activity category," said Dr Sanjay Kumar while talking to HT, adding, "We really need to follow Nietzsche’s famous dictum 'physician heal thyself'."
Dr Kumar said he conducted the study on 300 doctors of his medical college, a fair sample in Bhopal, which gave him an insight on the scenario of diabetes in the medical fraternity.
He said the prevalence of diabetes in India in adults was around 2.4% in rural areas and 4 to 11.6% in urban areas. Dr Kumar informed the study was conducted on the basis of a predesigned and pretested protocol to find out the prevalence and the risk of diabetes mellitus amongst doctors by using simplified Indian Diabetes Risk Score (IDRS).
Simplified IDRS has been developed based on multiple logistic regression model using four simple parameters — age, abdominal obesity, family history of diabetes and leisure time/physical activity.
Noted diabetologist and professor of medicine Dr Sushil Jindal, who runs Jindal Diabeties and Hormone Center in Bhopal, feels that doctors are becoming diabetic in increased numbers because they lead a stressful and sedentary life. "You will rarely find doctors hitting a gym. Doctors ignore exercising, as they don't find time for it," he added.