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Prevalence of chronic diseases among physicians in Taiwan: a population-based cross-sectional study

03 Mar 2016


The health of physicians is an important topic which needs to be addressed in order to provide the best quality of patient care. However, there are few studies on the prevalence of chronic diseases among physicians. In this study, we explored the prevalence of chronic diseases among physicians and compared the probability of chronic diseases between physicians and the general population using a population-based data set in Taiwan.

Study design

A cross-sectional study.




Our study consisted of 1426 practising physicians and 5704 general participants.

Primary outcome measures

We chose 22 chronic diseases from the Elixhauser Comorbidity index and nine highly prevalent medical conditions in an Asian population for analysis. We used conditional logistic regression analyses to investigate the OR and its corresponding 95% CI of chronic diseases between these two groups.


The conditional logistic regression analyses showed that physicians had lower odds of peripheral vascular disorders (OR=0.41, 95% CI=0.19 to 0.90), uncomplicated diabetes (OR=0.76, 95% CI=0.60 to 0.97), complicated diabetes (OR=0.53, 95% CI=0.34 to 0.83), renal failure (OR=0.41, 95% CI=0.19 to 0.90), liver diseases (OR=0.78, 95% CI=0.66 to 0.94), and hepatitis B or C (OR=0.62, 95% CI=0.49 to 0.77) and higher odds of hypertension (OR=1.21, 95% CI=1.03 to 1.41), hyperlipidaemia (OR=1.43, 95% CI=1.23 to 1.67) and asthma (OR=1.59, 95% CI=1.16 to 2.18) than the general population.


We concluded that although physicians had decreased prevalence of some chronic diseases, they had a significantly increased prevalence of hypertension, hyperlipidaemia and asthma.

Click here to view the full article which appeared in BMJ Open