Stress and cardiometabolic manifestations among Saudi students entering universities: a cross-sectional observational study. BMC Public Health

Journal Article
, Al-Daghri NM, Al-Othman A, Al-Attas OS, Alkharfy KM, Alokail MS, Albanyan A, Sabico S, Chrousos GP., . 2014
Publication Work Type: 
PHD
Tags: 
Stress; Cardiometabolic clustering; Saudi; Students; College life; Perceived stress
Magazine \ Newspaper: 
BMC Public Health
Volume Number: 
23;14
Pages: 
391
Publication Abstract: 

Background

In this observational study, we aimed to see whether transition in Saudi students entering university life could be a breeding stage for cardiometabolic risk factor emergence and clustering.

Methods

A total of 1878 apparently healthy Saudi students of the Preparatory Year, King Saud University, Riyadh, KSA (1112 men and 766 women) spanning 2 academic years were included. They were divided into 2 groups based on the validated perceived stress test (PST). Anthropometrics were obtained and fasting blood samples were collected for measurement of fasting blood glucose and a lipid profile.

Results

PST score (>27) considered indicative of stress was noted in 44.4% of students. The prevalence of this score was higher in women than in men (49.7% versus 40.7%). The prevalence of obesity, hypertension and dyslipidemia was significantly higher in men than women (pā€‰<ā€‰0.01), and this was even more apparent among stressed men, who had a significantly higher prevalence of all the above cardiometabolic factors than the non-stressed ones (pā€‰<ā€‰0.01).

Conclusion

Perceived stress is alarmingly high among Saudi students entering universities. This study sheds light on the social responsibility of universities in promoting a healthy lifestyle, particularly in this age group, when exposure to different kinds of stressors may result in body weight and metabolic changes.