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College Students Benefit from Preventive Health Care

But few students seek treatment for mental disorders

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Although psychiatric disorders are common among college students, fewer than 25 percent seek treatment, according to a study published in the December issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry. A different study, published in the December issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, points to the benefits of influenza vaccination of college students.

Kristin L. Nichol, M.D., of the VA Medical Center in Minneapolis, and colleagues analyzed data on four cohorts of students from the flu seasons of 2002-2003 through 2005-2006 to assess the uptake of influenza vaccination and the prevalence of influenza-like illness, and found that vaccination was associated with reduced incidence in influenza and its associated health care use.

Carlos Blanco, M.D., Ph.D., of Columbia University in New York City, and colleagues analyzed data from interviews with 2,188 college students aged 19 to 25 and 2,904 of their peers not attending college, and found that both groups had similar levels of psychiatric disorders, with almost half experiencing a psychiatric disorder within the previous year.

"Early treatment could reduce the persistence of these disorders," Blanco and colleagues write. "As these young people represent our nation's future, urgent action is needed to increase detection and treatment of psychiatric disorders among college students and their non-college-attending peers."

The Nichol study was partially funded by grants from Aventis Pasteur and MedImmune, and Nichol reports financial relationships with the pharmaceutical industry.

Abstract: Nichol
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Abstract - Blanco
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