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Study finds over 61% of doctors obese

KARACHI: Around 61 percent of doctors, mostly cardiologists practicing at different public and private health facilities in Pakistan, are either obese or overweight while around 7.5 percent of healthcare professionals have been found to be heavy or chain smokers, a research paper presented in the grand finale of 5th Cardiology Research Award held in Karachi revealed on Sunday.

“Of the 159 health professionals including 100 cardiologists interviewed and medically examined from entire Pakistan, over 21 percent were found to be obese while 40 percent of them were overweight, which shows that despite advising their patients to indulge in physical activity and eat a balanced diet, doctors themselves don’t find time to follow their own advice”, Dr. Salik Ahmed Memon, an interventional cardiology fellow at National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD) Karachi said while explaining his research.

Over 100 young researchers from entire Pakistan presented their studies and research papers in the grand finale of the 5th Cardiology Research Award, at the 50th Cardiocon of Pakistan Cardiac Society which concluded here on Sunday in Karachi.

Local pharmaceutical firm Phamevo is supporting the research awards for the last five years and providing financial support to young researchers from entire Pakistan to conduct research in the country and come up with local solutions to health issues facing Pakistan.

Dr. Huma Zartash from Doctors Hospital, Lahore bagged the first prize of Rs100,000 on her research on a drug called ARNI in improving quality of life in heart failure patients with chronic kidney disease while Dr. Syed Waqar Ahmed from Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH) Karachi clinched second prize and Dr. Sanam Khawaja from NICVD Karachi got the third prize on their research papers in the field of cardiology.

Pakistan Cardiac Society (PES) also awarded cash prizes to three more researchers for their extraordinary studies including Dr. Tayyaba Durrani from Peshawar, Dr. Saba Hussain from NICVD, and Mian Mustafa Kamal from AKUH.

Prof Haroon Babar, the outgoing President of Pakistan Endocrine Society (PES) said while speaking to media following evaluation of the research paper maintained that the research presented by Dr. Salik regarding healthcare professionals’ health highlights that doctors need to look after themselves first, present themselves as a role model to their patients and avoid or quit smoking before advising their patients to refrain from tobacco use.

Other leading cardiologists including Prof Javed Akbar Sial, Prof Bilal Mohiuddin, Prof Dr. Sohail Aziz, Prof Khawar Kazmi, and Prof Tahir Sagheer evaluated the research papers by the young doctors and cardiologists from various health facilities in the country and lauded the quality of research being conducted by health professionals across the country.

Convener of the 50th Cardiocon and Executive Director NICVD Prof Nadeem Qamar in his address hoped that Cardiology Research Awards and cash prizes were given to young researchers would encourage more physicians and interventional cardiologists to conduct research and studies and come up with indigenous solutions to problems being faced by Pakistan population.

“We are not only genetically different from Europeans and Americans but our climate, social life, eating patterns, and other traits are different from them but unfortunately, we are compelled to rely on their research for the treatment of our patients.

Once we have our own studies, we would be able to help and treat outpatients more effectively”, Prof Nadeem Qamar added. Head of Preventive Cardiology at NICVD Prof Khawar Kazmi said healthcare professionals don’t need to risk their own lives by ignoring their own health and urged them to take time out for physical activities to serve their patients more effectively.

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