Association of mood disorder and modifiable life-style risk factors in medical students: a cross-sectional study

Reena Titoria, Anu Mohandas, Garima Gupta


Background: Bipolar disorder is one of the common chronic serious mental illness affecting 7 billion people in the world associated with significant morbidity which goes unrecognized. After extensive literature search, it was found that there is paucity of studies from the Indian setting that have addressed the issue of bipolar disorder.

Methods: The present study was carried out to screen for bipolar disorder among medical undergraduate students and its correlates.  Due to non-availability of many studies from India, the proportion of 50% was taken as prevalence to calculate the sample size. With 95% confidence interval and 8% absolute error, a sample size of 126 was calculated using Epi Info. Study tools used were a semi structured questionnaire on socio-demographic profile of participants, Global Physical Activity Questionnaire (GPAQ) and Mood Disorder Questionnaire (MDQ). MDQ is a self-reporting screening instrument for bipolar disorder having a Cronbach’s alpha coefficient of 0.83. Data was analyzed using chi-square test with p value <0.05 considered statistically significant.

Results: The study included 87.3% males and 12.7% females with mean age 21.26±1.23 years. Out of 126 participants, 17 (13.5%) were screened positive for bipolar disorder. Factors found to have statistically significant association with bipolar disorder were number of siblings, type of family, migration status of family, living in hostel, body mass index and physical activity of the participant.  

Conclusions: The results suggest that medical students constitute a vulnerable group and there are certain risk factors other than academic stressors which predispose a medical student to mental illness.


Body mass index, Depression, Mania, Medical students, Mood disorder, Physical activity

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