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description Journal article public Pakistan Journal of Surgery and Medicine

Prevalence of Muscle Dysmorphia and Associated Health Activities in Male Medical Students in Karachi, Pakistan

Imtiaz Jehan, Azza Sarfraz, Ali Faisal Sultan, Mirza Zain Baig, Moheudin Khan, 5 more
Published 2020

Abstract

Background: Muscle Dysmorphia (MD) is a subtype of body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) and is currently classified under anxiety disorders (subheading: Obsessive-compulsive disorder) in DSM 5. MD is hypothesized to affect the self-esteem and social outlook of the younger generation. MD shows a higher rate in males and may influence their self-confidence rendering them more prone towards using steroids, supplementary proteins and other drugs to alter their physical outlooks as shown in previous studies. This problem has been on the rise lately due to revolutionary advancement in the media and film industry and the abrupt changes about the standards of physical good looks and body shapes. With the lack of studies done in our population, our study will be helpful to consider the prevalence of the disease in our setting and increase awareness in the general public and clinicians. We hope to help clinicians/ therapists find better options in managing the disease. Materials: We performed a cross-sectional study with a sample size of 246 medical school students in Karachi to collect data through self-administered questionnaires. We used the DSM 5 criteria for the diagnosis of BDD and additional questions on the presence of MD. Nutritional habits, exercise routines, use of supplements and drugs were also obtained for exploratory analysis. Results: Our study predicted the prevalence of MD to be 25%. Other main findings included statistical significant associations between MD and the thoughts and practice of steroid use for muscularity. Conclusion: MD is an underdiagnosed and often unrecognized disease that we believe has significant consequences for the young male population. Further work is needed on this in our part of the world. Our research, we believe, can be a stepping stone for further studies that would incorporate wider populations.

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