Having more GPs increases life expectancy: study

More primary care doctors increase a person's chance of being treated for CVD risk factors or major cancers

Having access to more GPs adds 50 days' life expectancy to those living in communities with lots of primary care doctors compared with those in areas with fewer doctors, a US study suggests.

Each 10 additional primary care physicians per 100,000 people in the US was associated with a 51.5-day increase in life expectancy during the decade 2005-2015, according to a study led by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine in California.

In addition, each 10 additional primary care doctors was linked to declines of up to 1.4% in mortality rates from common causes like cancer, heart disease and respiratory disorders.

The study also looked at the availability of specialists, and found an increase of 10 specialists per 100,000 resulted in only a 19.2 day increase in life expectancy.

"Greater supply of primary care physicians appeared to increase the chances that a person would be