Self-reported use of medicines among university students in Oslo, Norwayyvind Palm: Arteritis temporalis

Elin O. Rosvold


Background: Medicine use can be used as an indicator of state of health in a population. Knowledge about health and medicine use among university students is scarce. Objective: The aim of this study was to analyse medicine use in relation to age and gender in an university student population. Methods: A survey on health and medicine use among students was carried out at the University of Oslo, Norway, in 2003 by means of a postal questionnaire. In all, 45% (789 of 1750) students participated. Students younger than 30 years of age (n=604) were included in the study of medicine use. Results: More female (77%) than male (53%) students reported use of medicines during the preceding four weeks. Female students had used more over the counter analgesics and more psychotropic drugs than the males. One in five students reported daily or weekly use of allergy medicines. Conclusions: This study showed that female university students below 30 years of age used more medicines than their male counterparts. The gender difference was mainly due to a higher use of analgesics among women. The study was performed during the pollen season in spring, and the high proportion of allergy medicine users indicates that many university students may have symptoms that can influence on their academic performance during spring exams

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