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Prevalence of elevated blood pressure, stress, and anxiety and its association with cognitive failure among medical students – A cross-sectional study

Sureka Varalakshmi V, Sanjana Karthick, Jeeva Jothy.


Background: The cognitive failure is prevalent among student population and is preventable to some extent. Factors that can affect cognition include stress and anxiety which can elevate normal blood pressure (BP). Prehypertension is a silent risk factor.

Aims and Objectives: The aim of the study is to find out the prevalence of prehypertension, stress, and anxiety and its correlation with cognitive failure.

Materials and Methods: One hundred and fifty students, both male and female, were recruited and questionnaires were administered to assess cognition (cognitive failures questionnaire [CFQ]), stress (Cohen stress scale), and anxiety (Generalised anxiety depression (GAD) questionnaire). BP was measured under basal conditions.

Results: Of the 150 students recruited, equal distribution of male and female was seen. The mean age of students was between 18 and 26 years. About 45.7% of students had prehypertension and 7.9% were hypertensives. CFQ assessment shows that 51.7% of students had severe cognitive failure. No significant association was seen between cognitive failure and prehypertension (P ˂ 0.05). Wide prevalence of stress (76.2%) and anxiety (42.4%) was seen. A positive correlation was seen between these variables with an increase in stress and anxiety affecting cognition.

Conclusion: Evaluation of BP and counseling the students whose BP falls within prehypertensive and hypertensive range will help understand the importance of healthy lifestyle good mental and physical well-being can reduce stress and anxiety and improve cognition.

Key words: Prehypertension; Cognition; Stress; Anxiety

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