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GPs taking better care of themselves

GPs are attempting to take greater care of their health than they were last time Pulse conducted a survey on health seven years ago.

The percentages of GPs who smoke and misuse alcohol both fell from 5 per cent in 2000 to

2 per cent in 2007.

Meanwhile, the proportion of depressed GPs fell from 25 per cent to 19 per cent, and the number regularly checking their blood pressure rose sharply, from 31 per cent in 2000 to 53 per cent in 2007.

The survey showed that despite high levels of stress, GPs are managing to maintain fairly healthy lifestyles.

The latest figures show eight out of 10 eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day 'most of the time', while 73 per cent regularly exercise at least once or twice a week.

But a minority of GPs are still failing to practise what they preach, with one in three describing themselves as 'overweight' or 'obese', and 16 per cent drinking more than 21 units of alcohol a week.

In a few extreme cases, GPs reported more serious problems.

Four of the respondents admitted to binge-drinking 'every day', and in the past year five said they had taken illegal drugs and four had misused prescription drugs.

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