Doctors ‘too reliant on prescribing drugs’

Doctors are too reliant on prescribing drugs for heart disease at the expense of helping their patients to lead healthier lives, a new study suggests.

by Kate Devlin, Medical Correspondent

Some patients are receiving too little advice about cutting down on smoking or reducing their weight as doctors increasingly reach for pills to treat them, according to the study, published in the Lancet medical journal.

The report comes just a week after a leading expert warned that millions of elderly patients were being prescribed drugs that they did not need, for conditions ranging from high blood pressure to high cholesterol or diabetes.

Professor Michael Oliver warned that a “tick-box culture” was leading to overtreatment and unnecessary anxiety for many older people.

The latest study looked at the treatment of heart disease across 22 European countries.

It found that one in five people diagnosed with the condition continued to smoke, in spite of the well-known problems that smoking can cause for the heart.

Researchers also found that sufferers were twice as likely to have diabetes as 12 years ago, partly because of the growing problem of obesity.

Only around one in three patients surveyed were referred to programmes designed to prevent heart attacks by focusing on lifestyle changes.

At the same time researchers found that doctors were prescribing greater numbers of drugs.

“The results of the study should be a cause for concern for all health policy makers, physicians and other healthcare professionals,” according to its authors, led by Professor David Wood from Imperial College London.

Heart disease is Britain’s biggest killer and every six minutes someone dies from a heart attack in this country.

Here’s a suggestion! Start eating more veggies and fruits and less red meat!


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One Response to “Doctors ‘too reliant on prescribing drugs’”

  1. San Diego Farmgirl Says:

    Remember back when we were kids, and we were told that someday, you won’t even have to eat, just take one pill per day and get your daily vitamins and minerals? Good grief!!!!

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