Assessment of Healthful Lifestyle Behaviors between Graduate Programs
Background: Heart disease is a condition with many etiologies, some of which include genetics, obesity, exercise, diet, smoking, and alcohol use. Studies show that increased years of education lead to better health outcomes, specifically lower rates of heart disease and obesity. Despite their high level of education, physicians have been shown to have a disproportionally higher rate of heart disease. Our objective was to determine whether there are particular lifestyle habits present among medical students that may lead to increased risk of heart disease as their academic and clinical futures progress. Methods: 201 Quinnipiac University medical, law, and education graduate students were recruited to this survey study. Descriptive statistics were used to present the data. Chi-squared test and Kruskal-Wallis tests were used to test the significance and a p-value <0.05 was considered significant. Results: Medical students were able to answer health-related questions correctly more than their law and education student counterparts (p-value <.001), felt able to explain the terms saturated fat (p-value <.001) and trans-fat (p-value <.001) and give an accurate estimate of personal BMI status better than their counterparts in the law and education programs, but did not significantly differ in meeting Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet recommendations or American Heart Association (AHA) recommendations for physical activity. Conclusion: Increased health-related knowledge has little bearing on individual dietary and physical activity habits of graduate students. We found no evidence to show that increased medical knowledge leads individuals to pursue lifestyle habits that lower the risk of heart disease.
Go AS, Mozaffarian D, Roger VL, Benjamin EJ, Berry JD, Blaha MJ, et al. Executive summary: heart disease and stroke statistics--2014 update: a report from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2014 Jan 21;129(3):399-410.
National Center for Health Statistics (US). Health, United States, 2016: With Chartbook on Long-term Trends in Health. Hyattsville (MD): National Center for Health Statistics (US); 2017 May.
Writing Group Members, Mozaffarian D, Benjamin EJ, Go AS, Arnett DK, Blaha MJ, et al. Executive Summary: Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics--2016 Update: A Report From the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2016 Jan 26;133(4):447-454.
Guasch-Ferre M, Babio N, Martinez-Gonzalez MA, Corella D, Ros E, Martin-Pelaez S, et al. Dietary fat intake and risk of cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality in a population at high risk of cardiovascular disease. Am J Clin Nutr. 2015 Dec;102(6):1563-1573.
Li B, Zhang G, Tan M, Zhao L, Jin L, Tang X, et al. Consumption of whole grains in relation to mortality from all causes, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes: Dose-response meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. Medicine (Baltimore). 2016 Aug;95(33):e4229.
Hartley L, Igbinedion E, Holmes J, Flowers N, Thorogood M, Clarke A, et al. Increased consumption of fruit and vegetables for the primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013 Jun 4;(6):CD009874.
Siervo M, Lara J, Chowdhury S, Ashor A, Oggioni C, Mathers JC. Effects of the Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet on cardiovascular risk factors: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Br J Nutr. 2015 Jan 14;113(1):1-15.
Lewington S, Lacey B, Clarke R, Guo Y, Kong XL, Yang L, et al. The Burden of Hypertension and Associated Risk for Cardiovascular Mortality in China. JAMA Intern Med. 2016 Apr;176(4):524-532.
Hahn RA, Truman BI. Education Improves Public Health and Promotes Health Equity. Int J Health Serv. 2015;45(4):657-678.
Loucks EB, Gilman SE, Howe CJ, Kawachi I, Kubzansky LD, Rudd RE, et al. Education and coronary heart disease risk: potential mechanisms such as literacy, perceived constraints, and depressive symptoms. Health Educ Behav. 2015 Jun;42(3):370-379.
Boing AF, Subramanian SV. The influence of area-level education on body mass index, waist circumference and obesity according to gender. Int J Public Health. 2015 Sep;60(6):727-736.
antos-Parker JR, LaRocca TJ, Seals DR. Aerobic exercise and other healthy lifestyle factors that influence vascular aging. Adv Physiol Educ. 2014 Dec;38(4):296-307.
Ho SS, Dhaliwal SS, Hills AP, Pal S. The effect of 12 weeks of aerobic, resistance or combination exercise training on cardiovascular risk factors in the overweight and obese in a randomized trial. BMC Public Health. 2012 Aug 28;12:704-2458-12-704.
Hegde SB, Vijayakrishnan G, Sasankh AK, Venkateswaran S, Parasuraman G. Lifestyle-associated risk for cardiovascular diseases among doctors and nurses working in a medical college hospital in Tamil Nadu, India. J Family Med Prim Care 2016;5:281-5
Jardim, Thiago Veiga et al. “Comparison of Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Different Areas of Health Care Over a 20-Year Period.” Arquivos Brasileiros de Cardiologia 103.6 (2014): 493–501. PMC. Web. 13 Oct. 2018.
Nobahar, Monir & Reza Razavi, Mohammad. (2015). Lifestyle and the Most Important Risk Factors of Cardiovascular Disease in Physicians, Nurses, and Faculty Members. Middle East J Rehabil Health. 2015 Apr; 1-9.
Steven Stack (2004) Suicide Risk Among Physicians: A Multivariate Analysis, Archives of Suicide Research, 8:3, 287-292.
Zoccolillo, Mark et al. Depression among medical students. Journal of Affective Disorders, Volume 11, Issue 1. 1986 Jul-Aug; 91 – 96.
Kamski, L., Frank, E. & Wenzel, V. Anesthesiologist (2012) 61: 984.
Mongraw-Chaffin ML, Peters SAE, Huxley RR, Woodward M. The sex-specific association between BMI and coronary heart disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis of 95 cohorts with 1.2 million participants. The Lancet Diabetics & Endocrinology. 2015;3(6):437-49.
Dewey G, Wickramasekaran RN, Kuo T, Robles B. Does Sodium Knowledge Affect Dietary Choices and Health Behaviors? Results From a Survey of Los Angeles County Residents. Prev Chronic Dis 2017;14:170117.
Dahlin M, Joneborg N, Runeson B. Stress and depression among medical students: a cross-sectional study. Med Educ. 2005 Jun;39(6):594-604.
Supe AN. A study of stress in medical students at Seth G.S. Medical College. J Postgrad Med. 1998 Jan-Mar;44(1):1-6.
Torres SJ, Nowson CA. Relationship between stress, eating behavior, and obesity. Nutrition. 2007 Nov-Dec;23(11-12):887-894.
Althubaiti A. Information bias in health research: definition, pitfalls, and adjustment methods. J Multidiscip Healthc. 2016 May 4;9:211-217.
Copyright (c) 2018 Erik Vincek, Dana Angelo White, Richard Feinn
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work’s authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal’s published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work.
Enforcement of copyright
The IJMS takes the protection of copyright very seriously.
If the IJMS discovers that you have used its copyright materials in contravention of the license above, the IJMS may bring legal proceedings against you seeking reparation and an injunction to stop you using those materials. You could also be ordered to pay legal costs.
If you become aware of any use of the IJMS' copyright materials that contravenes or may contravene the license above, please report this by email to email@example.com
If you become aware of any material on the website that you believe infringes your or any other person's copyright, please report this by email to firstname.lastname@example.org