Medical doctors are not only highly trained professionals but also role models in matters of health and disease. That is what makes the health behaviour of future doctors an important research issue. Aims and methods: A health behaviour survey was conducted among a representative sample of medical students of a university in Hungary by a standardized self-administered questionnaire. The questionnaire related to demographic data, health status and health behaviour using validated items from previous surveys. Results: Self-perceived (subjective) health was found to be good/very good in more than three-quarters of the students; nearly all of them thought that they can do much/very much for their health. Nearly two-thirds of the students are non-smokers, but 15% smoke daily. More than four-fifth of the students drink alcohol, mainly occasionally. One-quarter had already tried some drugs, mostly marijuana and non-prescription narcotics and sedatives. Comparison of our data to the same age-group of the general population revealed that the proportion of smokers, daily smokers, and weekly alcohol drinkers is lower among medical students. Conclusions. The prevalence of risk behaviour does not seem to have risen in the past years based on comparing our data to those of earlier surveys conducted among medical students in Hungary. However, students had a significantly higher mean score in the general health questionnaire compared to the mean of the same age group of the general population indicating mental health problems that deserve attention.
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