Background: Lifestyle and mental health have a significant effect on the human life. Diets high in trans and saturated fats can adversely impact learning and memory. The aim of our research was to evaluate the effect of lifestyle and mental state on academic performance among health specialties students at Taibah University.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out at Taibah University, Al-Madinah Al-Munawara region among health specialties students of medicine, dentistry, nursing, pharmacy, nutrition, radiology, medical laboratory technician, and physiotherapist. We used a questionnaire as the study tool based on the Hamilton depression rating scale 6. Data were analyzed using statistical package for social science software version 23.
Results: Among the studied subjects, 11.9% of participants had early insomnia, 11% suffered from insomnia at midnight, and 14.2% suffered from insomnia until late at night, 69.3% of the participants did not suffer from confusion. Forty five percent of the participants did not suffer from physical symptoms such as pain of the limbs or back and head. 73.4% of participants did not suffer from sexual symptoms such as loss of sexual orientation or menstrual disorders. 69.7% of the participants did not see themselves as physically ill, 22.5% felt they might have an illness but did not feel that they needed treatment, and 7.8% were under treatment. As per the key of the Hamilton rating scale, the mean value was 13.12, which puts the participants in mild depression.
Conclusion: Students in the medical-related specialties were not affected by their mental health or lifestyle in their academic performance. Future studies should be conducted including a broader range of students and clinician-rated standardized assessment tools, strengthening the study’s conclusion.
Key words: Academic performance, Al-Madinah, lifestyle, mental state, Taibah University