The lifestyle habits and wellbeing of physicians in Bahrain: a cross-sectional study.
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BACKGROUND: Lifestyle habits of physicians are of paramount importance both because they influence the physician's own health and because these habits have been shown to affect patients' care. There is limited information on physician health and lifestyle habits in Bahrain.
METHODS: In a cross-sectional study design, an anonymous self-administered questionnaire that assesses wellbeing and lifestyle habits was distributed to a random sample of 175 out of 320 primary health care physicians in Bahrain. Descriptive analyses were performed, and the variables were cross-tabulated using SPSS version 20.0.
RESULTS: 152 physicians agreed to participate in the study. Respondents were 67.1 % female with a mean age of 45 (SD = 10). The majority were of Bahraini nationality. The most prevalent reported health conditions were hyperlipidaemia (25.5 %), hypertension (20.3 %), and diabetes (11.0 %). Only 29.6 % of physicians reported performing ≥ 30 min of exercise in a usual week. Of physicians exercising ≥ 30 min weekly, only 13 % exercised ≥ 5 days weekly. 98.0 % report never drinking, 1.3 % report previously drinking, and 0.7 % report drinking less than once weekly. The average body mass index (BMI) was 27.8 (SD = 5), with 39 % of physicians being overweight and 33 % obese. BMI was directly associated with sleep time (P0.027, r(2) = 0.034), age (P
CONCLUSIONS: There is a clear pattern of unfavourable lifestyle habits and obesity among primary health care physicians in Bahrain. We encourage institutions and public health sectors to be more proactive in assisting physicians to attain healthier lifestyles.