Distribution of Chronotypes among a Sample of Iraqi Kurdish Medical Students

Sultan Qaboos Univ Med J. 2014 Aug;14(3):e356-60. Epub 2014 Jul 24.


Objectives: The aim of this study was to assess the distribution of chronotypes in a sample of Iraqi Kurdish medical students.

Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted at the Hawler Medical University College of Medicine in Erbil City, Iraq, between 1(st) January and 31(st) March 2013. A total of 580 students were given the reduced version of the Horne and Ostberg Morningness-Eveningness Questionnaire (MEQr), a close-ended self-administered questionnaire.

Results: Of the 580 students, 130 (22.4%) were male and 450 (77.6%) were female. The mean age ± standard deviation was 20.3 ± 1.45 years, with a range of 17-24 years. Most of the students (52.6%) were in the intermediate class, followed by morning type (24.1%) and evening type (23.3%). Significant gender differences were detected in the proportion of morning, intermediate and evening types (P <0.001). The mean scores for the female students were 14.8 ± 2.2 and the mean scores for the male students were 14.6 ± 7.3, with no statistically significant differences (P = 0.45).

Conclusion: Students in the College of Medicine were mostly classified as intermediate types. The morning type was more common among this student population, particularly male students, than has been reported in similar age groups in some Western countries. There was a significant gender difference in the proportion of MEQr types.

Keywords: Chronobiology Phenomena; Circadian Rhythm; Iraq; Sleep.