GPs ‘ideally placed to help prevent heart disease, osteoporosis’
MedWire News: General practitioners (GPs) are ideal placed to help prevent coronary heart disease (CHD) and osteoporosis in Dutch premenopausal women since access to primary care is not influenced by socioeconomic status (SES), researchers believe.
The study found that women with the lowest SES are at highest risk for CHD and osteoporosis, yet consult their GPs with the same frequency as women at lower risk.
Hedwig Vos (Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands) and colleagues assessed CHD and osteoporosis risk, and their association with SES, among 571 women aged 45-49. The women were assessed as part of the Dutch National Survey of General Practice.
The 10-year risk for CHD was increased in 39 percent of women and high in 3 percent, while the risk for osteoporosis was increased in 22 percent.
SES and risk factors for an unhealthy lifestyle (smoking, alcohol abuse, physical inactivity, overweight, and insufficient calcium intake) were inversely correlated, report the authors. The same was true for SES and the risks for both CHD and osteoporosis.
However, there was no association between SES and the frequency of GP consultations, and more than 80 percent of women had visited their GP at least once in the year before the survey.
Vos et al conclude: “The Dutch GP seems to be in an ideal position to play a role in the prevention of CHD and osteoporosis in premenopausal women because access to GPs is not influenced by SES.”
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By Joanna Lyford