Anxiety is one of the most common psychiatric disorder and imposes a great burden on both the individual and the society. Previous studies indicate a high comorbidity of anxiety disorders and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). However, few studies have examined the comorbidity of anxiety and ADHD among medical college students in mainland China. This study aimed to examine the prevalence of anxiety and the associated risk factor of anxiety disorder as well as to explore the association between ADHD symptoms, depression, suicidal behaviors and anxiety.
A cross-sectional design was employed among 4882 medical college students who were recruited and enrolled with convenience sampling. Self-reported demographic information and clinical characteristics were collected online on a computer or through a social media app named Wechat.
The prevalence of anxiety in this study was 19.9%. Students with anxiety were more likely to have a poor relationship with parents, be of Han nationality, have smoking or drinking habits, have an extensive physical disorder history and have engaged in suicidal behaviors. The independent risk factors for anxiety were: smoking, physical disorder history, suicidal ideations, suicide attempts, inattention and hyperactivity. Significant associations were observed between anxiety and depression, inattention, hyperactivity, suicide plans and suicide attempts.
Nearly one in five medical students suffered from anxiety. The findings of this study indicate the importance of addressing both anxiety and ADHD symptoms in order to better promote mental health and the well-being of medical students as well as reduce suicidal behaviors.