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1.  Prevalence of body-focused repetitive behaviors in three large medical colleges of karachi: a cross-sectional study 
BMC Research Notes  2012;5:614.
Body-focused repetitive behaviors (BFRBs) that include skin picking (dermatillomania), hair pulling (trichotillomania) and nail biting (onychophagia), lead to harmful physical and psychological sequelae.
The objective was to determine the prevalence of BFRBs among students attending three large medical colleges of Karachi. It is imperative to come up with frequency to design strategies to decrease the burden and adverse effects associated with BFRBs among medical students.
A cross-sectional study was conducted among 210 students attending Aga Khan University, Dow Medical College and Sind Medical College, Karachi, in equal proportion. Data were collected using a pre tested tool, “Habit Questionnaire”. Diagnoses were made on the criteria that a student must be involved in an activity 5 times or more per day for 4 weeks or more. Convenience sampling was done to recruit the participants aged 18 years and above after getting written informed consent.
The overall prevalence of BFRBs was found to be 46 (22%). For those positive for BFRBs, gender distribution was as follows: females 29 (13.9%) and males 17 (8.1%). Among these students, 19 (9.0%) were engaged in dermatillomania, 28 (13.3%) in trichotillomania and 13 (6.2%) in onychophagia.
High proportions of BFRBs are reported among medical students of Karachi. Key health messages and interventions to reduce stress and anxiety among students may help in curtailing the burden of this disease which has serious adverse consequences.
PMCID: PMC3508914  PMID: 23116460
BFRBs; Dermatillomania; Trichotillomania; Onychophagia
2.  Prevalence of Hepatitis ‘B’ and Hepatitis ‘C’ among preoperative cataract patients in Karachi 
BMC Research Notes  2012;5:492.
To report the findings of preoperative screening regarding prevalence of Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C in patients presenting for cataract surgery.
A descriptive study was conducted among 377 patients presenting for cataract surgery to Department of Ophthalmology Unit I, CHK from April 2010 to May 2011. Convenience sampling was done to recruit the participants aged 18 years and above. The patients were screened for Hepatitis B and C infections and findings were recorded on a structured compilation sheet.
The total prevalence of both Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C in preoperative Cataract patients was found to be 49 out of 377(12.99%). Overall, 8 out of 377 (2.1%) patients were HBsAg positive and 42 out of 377 (11.1%) were Anti-HCV positive. Only 1 patient was found with a co-infection with both HBsAg and Anti-HCV positive.
High proportions of Hepatitis B and C are reported among preoperative cataract patients of Karachi. Routine serological screening prior to surgery should be made mandatory so that asymptomatic patients would no longer pose a threat to its spread.
PMCID: PMC3444920  PMID: 22954334
Hepatitis B; Hepatitis C; Cataract
3.  Prevalence and factors associated with irritable bowel syndrome among medical students of Karachi, Pakistan: A cross-sectional study 
BMC Research Notes  2012;5:255.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and its association with stress, has not been studied among university students in Pakistan. We investigated the prevalence and the pattern of anxiety related IBS symptoms among medical students of Karachi.
An observational case–control study was carried out at three medical colleges of Karachi, Pakistan. Random sampling was done on 360 medical students. Data was collected using validated tools “Rome III Criteria” and “Generalized Anxiety Disorder Questionnaire”. Participants with IBS were diagnosed on the criteria having experienced abdominal discomfort at least 2–3 days/month associated with high level of anxiety. The apparent prevalence of IBS was found to be 28.3%, with a predominance of 87 (85.29%) females (85.29%) over males (14.71%). The psychological symptoms of anxiety were encountered in 57 (55.8%) participants with IBS, among which males were 15.7% and females 84.2% respectively.
Students who more frequently suffer with mental stress and anxiety are more associated with IBS.
PMCID: PMC3434121  PMID: 22624886
Irritable bowel syndrome; Anxiety; Stress; Abdominal discomfort; Medical students
4.  Eating disorders in medical students of Karachi, Pakistan-a cross-sectional study 
BMC Research Notes  2012;5:84.
To assess the incidence of high-risk population of medical students with eating disorders in Karachi by using validated self-administered questionnaires. The earlier these disorders are diagnosed and assessed, the better the chances are for enhanced treatment and fuller recovery. Therefore, we intended to undertake a study to find out the frequency of such disorders among medical students of Karachi and design strategies to overcome them.
A descriptive cross sectional study was conducted in 435 medical students of Karachi. Data was collected using 2 self administered questionnaires, the SCOFF Eating Disorders Questionnaire and the Eating Attitudes Test (EAT-26). Subjects' body mass indexes (BMI) were also calculated. The data was sorted and analyzed in SPSS version 16. According to EAT-26, 22.75% individuals were found to be at high-risk of eating disorders, with 87.9% females and 12.1% males. However, according to SCOFF questionnaire, 17% individuals were found to be at high-risk, with 78.4% females and 21.6% males. According to BMI calculation, 9% were severely underweight, 41.4% underweight, 41.1% normal, 7.6% overweight and 0.9% belonged to obese class 1.
A significant fraction of medical students in Karachi are at high risk of development of eating disorders, females being more prone than males. Strategies should be designed to prevent occurrence of such disorders among medical students that would undoubtedly hamper the availability of dependable medical services in future.
PMCID: PMC3395848  PMID: 22296613
Eating Disorders; EAT-26; SCOFF; Karachi

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