Doctors who help us stay fit and live longer are themselves dying younger than the general public. This conclusion was made after the research cell of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) conducted a study in Kerala. They found that majority of them die due to cardiovascular diseases and cancer.
The mortality pattern among doctors enrolled with state IMA's social security scheme was analysed for the 10-year study -- Physician's Mortality Data from 2007 to 2017.
"Of the 10,000 doctors who were part of the contributory supportive scheme that provides a fixed amount to deceased doctor's family, 282 died during the study period," the Times of India reported.
Among them, 87 percent were men and 13percent women. It was found that almost 27 percent died due to heart diseases, 25 percent due to cancer, 2 percent died due to infection and another 1 percent committed suicide.
The study noted that the life expectancy of an Indian is 67.9 years and that of a Malayali is 74.9 years. The mean 'age of death' for a Malayali doctor is 61.75 years.
"We were surprised by the figures as we expected doctors to live longer as they know what is good for them," said IMA research cell convener Dr Vinayan KP.
"Doctors are generally working under a lot of stress irrespective of government or private jobs. Increased working hours, the patients they attend to and high expectations contribute to this increased stress. Their working hours need to be fixed, besides government social security scheme. Also, doctors should be prepared for periodic health check-ups," said IMA's former president Dr VG Pradeep Kumar.
This is not the first time that a research showed that the life expectancy of the doctors is less than that of the general population. Previously, in 2010, the Indian Medical Association's (IMA) Pune noted that an Indian doctor's average lifespan is 55-59 years -- almost 10 years lesser than the general population.
The conclusion was made on the basis of the analysis of the association's social security scheme (SSS) with 5,500 doctors from Maharashtra and over 10,000 from across the country registered.
At that time, IMA Pune chapter's president Dr Dilip Sarda told DNA: "An average Indian lives up to 69-72 years whereas a doctor lives only up to 55 to 59 years which is shocking. It was noticed that most early deaths were due to cardiac arrest."
"Being a doctor in India is injurious to one's health now. Due to stress, doctors are more prone to heart disease, diabetes and even paralysis," said IMA national president Dr KK Aggarwal.