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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 33  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 85-89

Prevalence of hypertension among medical students and its lifestyle determinants

Department of Family and Community Medicine, Medical College, Al-Anbar University, Ramadi, Iraq

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Mahasin Ali Al-Taha
Department of Family and Community Medicine, Medical College, Al-Anbar University, Ramadi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/IRJCM.IRJCM_9_21

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Background: Hypertension is a major public health problem worldwide. It is a risk factor for most coronary heart diseases and cardiovascular diseases. Strategies to prevent and treat hypertension in younger age groups and adolescents, including medical students, have been applied and evaluated by the World Health Organization. Objectives: The objective of the study is to determine the prevalence of both hypertension and prehypertension among medical students in medical colleges and to study the association of different factors with hypertension disease. Methodology: A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted in medical colleges of Al-Anbar University, Iraq. The study period was from January 1 to March 10, 2019. A total of 273 undergraduate medical group students, both female and male, participated in this study from three colleges: medicine, pharmacy, and dentistry colleges. Blood pressure, height, and weight were measured using standardized instruments. SPSS Statistics for Windows, Version 24.0 was used to analyze data. Both cross-tabulation and Chi-square tests of significance were done. Results: The prevalence rate of hypertension in this research study was 9.9%, of them 18.0% and 3.3% were male and female, respectively. Prehypertension was 17.2% of the total sample. Risk factors highly associated with hypertension (P = 0.0001) were male gender, stress, high salt intake, smoking habits, and increased body mass index. However, there was no significant association between dietary risk factor and hypertension in our study. Conclusion: The high overall prevalence of hypertension (9.9%) and prehypertension (17.2%) with overall prevalence of hypertension and prehypertension together (27.1%) represents a call for the establishment of screening system for early detection at primary health-care level. Community-based health education programs on the importance of the examination and follow-up processes for early detection of hypertension and prehypertension are recommended.

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