Prevalence and risk factors of hypertension among young medical students: An observational study

Tarun Rao, Jyoti Jain, Richa Chaudhary


Background: Hypertension is a chronic disease which over the years can predispose to stroke, heart failure and chronic kidney disease. So, longer hypertension is present more adverse events are observed. This makes it important to diagnose and control hypertension at an early stage in life. Like most developing countries data on hypertension among young especially medical students are scarce in India. We aimed to determine the prevalence and risk factors of hypertension among young medical students of MGIMS Sevagram.

Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted between August, 2010 and March 2013 in MGIMS Sevagram, a rural based teaching hospital in Wardha District of Maharashtra state of India. Total of 765 students, aged 17-35 years, were studied and their data using a WHO STEPS questionnaire,which included socio-demographic characteristics and risk factors of hypertension, were collected. Blood pressure and anthropometric measurements for obesity were performed using standardized protocols. Blood samples for fasting lipid profile were collected. Statistical analysis was done using STATA 13 software.

Results: The prevalence of hypertension was found to be 3.53% and 32.16% students had prehypertension. 41.12% of those already on treatment for hypertension had uncontrolled hypertension. After multivariate logistic regression analysis hypertension risk was significantly higher among alcoholics {OR-3.47 (95% CI 1.91-11.23)}, those with positive family history of hypertension {OR-3.47(95% CI 1.91-11.23 )} those with abnormal waist circumference{OR-4.64 (95% CI 1.44-14.94)} and abnormal waist hip ratio{OR-3.64(95% CI 1.33-10.21)}.

Conclusion: This study has found a significant burden of hypertension and prehypertension among young medical students. Despite having adequate knowledge and access to management, large proportion of hypertensive medical students didn’t have adequate blood pressure control.


Hypertension, stroke, heart failure, chronic kidney disease

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