Revista médica de Chile
versión impresa ISSN 0034-9887
ROMERO, María Inés et al. Smoking and alcohol drinking among medical students at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2009, vol.137, n.3, pp. 361-368. ISSN 0034-9887. doi: 10.4067/S0034-98872009000300006.
Background: Tobacco and alcohol consumption are public health problems, generally starting in adolescence. Medical students are not an exception. Aim: To determine the characteristics of tobacco and alcohol use among medical students at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and their association with gender, career level and mental health. Material and methods: A questionnaire to evaluate substance use was applied along with Goldberg Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12), as a mental health risk predictor, to all medical students in November 2005- Results: The survey was completed by 569 of 775 students (74%). Current smokers were 23- 7%, with the lowest figure, 13-5% in sixth year, and the highest, 40.5% in seventh year (p <0.01). Thirty one percent of students with an score of five and over in the GHQ-12 were smokers, compared to 19% among those with a lower score. Daily smokers were 40%o of the current smokers. Seventy four percent of students consumed alcohol during the last month. No association with sex or GHQ-12 was observed. The lowest alcohol consumption rate was observed in second year, and the highest in sixth year (66%o and 89-2%o, respectively, p <0.01). Fifty three percent of men and 26%o of women drank three or more drinks in any given day (p <0.01). Sixty three percent of men and 81% of women never drank more than five drinks in one day, during the last month (p <0.01). Conclusions: Our medical students smoke less than Chilean youth but more than medical students of countries such as the USA. They drink less than Anglo-Saxon medical students but more than Chilean youth. Male consumption is greater than that of women. Smoking and alcohol drinking are mutually associated.
Palabras clave : Alcohol drinking; Smoking; Students, medical.