The Changes in Some Hematological Parameters among University Students Due to Stressful Conditions During and after Examinations Period
Keywords:Examination stress, hematological parameters, university students.
Background: Several studies demonstrated that stress can cause an obvious change in the hematological
parameters in healthy individuals. In the current study, we determined whether the stress during the exams
can produce some hematological changes and how long this effect may take after the end of the exam period.
Methods: Seventy (n= 70) male and sixty (n=60) female student of similar height, weight and age were
selected from the department of medical laboratory sciences, Al-Ahliyya Amman university. All students
were first had a preliminary medical checkup. Students excluded from the study include those who had a
chronic disease and any health issues or habits affecting the studied parameters, such as smoking; fever
and high blood pressure. All study participants were between the age group of 20-22 years. Blood samples
were taken three weeks before the exam, during and 72 hours after the end of the exam period. Estimations
of red blood cells (RBC), white blood cells (WBC), hematocrit, mean corpuscular volume (MCV), mean
corpuscular hemoglobin (MCH), mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC), neutrophils,
lymphocytes and platelets were accomplished.
Results: Compared with pre-examination results the blood samples taken during exams showed a significant
decrease in the readings of lymphocytes (p <0.01) , MCV and MCH (p < 0.05). Significant increase in
Neutrophil (p < 0.05) and platelets (p< 0.05). Readings taken after 72 hours of the end of exam period
showed significant decrease in white blood cell count (p < 0.01) and further significant increase in the
platelet count (p <0.001). No significant changes were observed in the readings of Hemoglobin, Red Blood
Cell count (RBC), hematocrit and mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (p >0.2).
Conclusion: This study concluded that the stress due to examinations is enough to alter certain hematological
parameters. The effect of stress on platelets and WBC remained until the end of the exam period. As the
increased platelet count may cause health problems for a person, from bleeding problems to the formation
of various clots. We do not know for sure how long the increase in platelet and decrease in white blood cells
continue as this may cause health problems for people subject to permanent stress.
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