Global cardiovascular risk profile of italian medical students assessed by a QR code survey. Data from UNIMI HEART SURVEY: Does studying medicine hurt?

Andrea Faggiano, Francesca Bursi, Gloria Santangelo, Cesare Tomasi, Chiarella Sforza, Pompilio Faggiano, Stefano Carugo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Few studies to date have addressed global cardiovascular (CV) risk profile in a “protected” young population as that of medical school students. Objective: to assess CV traditional risk factors and global CV risk profile of Italian medical students throughout the six years of university. Methods: A cross-sectional survey accessible online via quick response (QR) code was conducted among 2700 medical students at the University of Milan, Italy. Data on baseline characteristics, traditional CV risk factors, diet, lifestyle habits, and perceived lifestyle variations were evaluated across different years of school. Results: Overall, 1183 students (mean age, 22.05 years; 729 women (61.6%)) out of 2700 completed the questionnaire (43.8% rate response). More than 16% of the students had at least 3 out of 12 CV risk factors and only 4.6% had ideal cardiovascular health as defined by the American Heart Association. Overweight, underweight, physical inactivity, sub-optimal diet, smoke history, and elevated stress were commonly reported. Awareness of own blood pressure and lipid profile increased over the academic years as well as the number of high-blood-pressure subjects, alcohol abusers, and students constantly stressed for university reasons. Moreover, a reduction in physical-activity levels over the years was reported by half of the students. Conclusion and Relevance: This study demonstrates that a “protected” population as that of young medical students can show an unsatisfactory cardiovascular risk profile and suggests that medical school itself, being demanding and stressful, may have a role in worsening of the lifestyle.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1343
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Volume10
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Cardiovascular risk factors
  • Medical students
  • Primary prevention
  • QR code
  • Survey
  • Young adult

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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