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Comparative study of effect of stress on peak expiratory flow rate and body mass index in medical and non-medical students

Amita Singh, Priyank Verma, Pooja Chaurasia, Richa Srivastav, Khaleel Ahmed Manik, Divya Hyanki, Shweta Gupta.


Background: This study was done to compare the effect of stress on peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR) and body mass index (BMI) in medical and non-medical students.

Aim and Objective: The aim of the study was to compare the effects of stress on PEFR and BMI in medical and non-medical students.

Materials and Methods: In this study, stress, PEFR, and BMI comparison were made between 200 medical and non-medical students of S.N.M.C, Agra and Agra College, respectively, aged between 17 and 21 years. To estimate the prevalence of stress, we used perceived stress scale, PEFR was measured using Rossmax Portable Peak Flow Meter, which having a range of 60–800 l/min. BMI was calculated using formula, Quetelet Index. Cutoff for the subjects was taken as 25 as per the revised WHO standards.

Results: In this study, moderate and high perceived level of stress was more common in medical students as compared to non-medical students and the result was found to be statistically significant (P < 0.0001). PEFR was 400 ± 102 in medical students and 420 ± 86.77 was in non-medical students. By applying unpaired t-test, significant changes were observed in PEFR among both groups (P < 0.05). BMI was 22.5 ± 3.12 in medical students and 22.6 ± 1.98 in non-medical students. By applying unpaired t-test, insignificant changes were observed in BMI among both groups (P ≥ 0.05).

Conclusion: From the results obtained from our study, incidence of stress was greater in medical students and that of highly perceived grades. Significant changes were observed for PEFR and insignificant change was observed for BMI among both groups.

Key words: Stress; Peak Expiratory Flow Rate; Body Mass Index; Medical Students; Non-Medical Students

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