Anemia is a disorder in which the number of erythrocytes is insufficient to meet the needs of the body being affected by the ability to transport oxygen in the blood(1)
. Anemia can lead to the development of headache, fatigue, lethargy, apathy, dyspnea on exertion, palpitations and tinnitus and, therefore, decrease the quality of everyday life greatly. Such symptoms can represent an obstacle for students in the course of their academic life and harm their career(2)
This problem is most often faced in women aged 18 to 25. Medical students, especially women who live within the university, have a high risk of anemia due to poor eating habits, lack of breakfast, extended hours at the university, medical studies, scientific research, as well as extracurricular activities(3)
Since anemia is associated with poor eating habits and although anemia is mainly caused by iron deficiency, low oxygen transport capacity may be due to other conditions such as chronic diseases, which remain a relevant health problem in the United States, inclusive(4)
A cross-sectional study was conducted at the Adichunchanagiri Institute of Medical Sciences, where two hundred and eighty-nine medical students of both sexes were included. The majority of the participants belonged to the age group of 17 to 20 years (84.4%). The general prevalence of anemia was 15.6%, where curiously, the average hemoglobin level was higher among low-performing students, indicating, according to the author, nutritional anemia may not play an important role in educational performance of higher level(2)
Another cross-sectional study was conducted on 200 apparently healthy female students (aged 19 to 25) from the University of Tabuk, Saudi Arabia, to investigate iron deficiency anemia, as well as its prevalence and risk factors. Data on the sociodemographic, diet, health, anthropometry and hematological and biochemical iron status of the participants were collected. The prevalence of iron deficiency was 12.5%. The factors associated with logistic regression with a high risk of anemia were inadequate intakes of iron and vitamin C, infrequent consumption of red meat (≤2 times per week), frequent tea consumption (≥2 times per week) and personal history of iron deficiency(5)
With what was written, it may be necessary that there could be an association between the lifestyle of medical students and hemoglobin deficit, as well as academic performance could be related. For what is proposed as an alternative solution, training to medical students on issues of nutrition and healthy lifestyles, prevention measures that would include blood tests where hemoglobin and hematocrit would be seen for a diagnosis and rapid treatment in order to prevent this silent pathology from affecting not only the academic performance itself, but also personal development.
Authorship contributions: The author made the generation, collection of information, writing and final version of the original article.
Conflict of interest: The author declares that he has no conflicts of interest in the publication of this article.
Received: September 25, 2020
Approved: February 7, 2020
Correspondence: Leyla Rodas-Alvarado
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