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If a physician takes preventive health practices like getting a flu shot, his or her patients are more likely to undergo these preventive measures, a new study has found.
The study, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal earlier this week, found a consistent, positive relation between physicians' and patients' preventive health practices.
In the study, researchers at Canada's University of British Columbia and in Israel looked at the screening and vaccination practices of 1,488 physicians and their almost 1.9 million adult patients in Israel's largest health care organization, Clalit Health Services.
They found about 49 percent of patients of physicians who received a flu shot also received the vaccine compared with about 43 percent of patients whose physicians did not receive the vaccine.
In contrast, among patients whose physicians received the influenza vaccine, about 61 percent of eligible patients received the pneumococcal vaccine, compared with about 57 percent of patients whose physician did not receive the influenza vaccine.
The findings suggest that there is room for improvement in some physicians' preventive practices and that improving the health of physicians could improve outcomes for their patients as well, the study said.