Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Basic Sciences, Faculty of Dentistry, Biomedical Stomatology Research Group, University of Antioquia

2 Department of Basic Sciences, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Antioquia, Medellín, Colombia


BACKGROUND: Ethnic minorities are underrepresented in health sciences programs in various
nations. Furthermore, there is no known research studying the occurrence of physical inactivity (PI)
and insufficient sleep (IS), and their effects on academic achievement (AA) in ethnic minority
students (EMS) in higher education.
OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study is to explore the occurrence of PI and IS, and their
independent and mixed effects on AA in EMS of a dental school.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Thirty EMS and sixty non‑EMSs were matched (1:2) in this
case–control study. It was utilized as an administrative dataset that stores register related to the
students. Moreover, the grade point average was considered an indicator of AA. Logistic regressions
models were run, expressed in odds ratios, complemented by confidence intervals (CIs) of 95%.
RESULTS: A total of 73% and 60% EMS were PI and slept insufficiently, respectively. The groups
presented statistically significant differences (P < 0.0001) in physical activity, sleep, and AA, with
inferior values for EMS. All unadjusted models showed that PS, IS, and low AA were strongly
associated with EMS, demonstrating their independent effect. After controlling for PI and IS, the
multivariate model for AA and EMS increased odds by 6.5 times (95%CI: 1.8–23;), indicating
that EMS is strongly associated with low AA. Besides, PI and IS were also statistically significant
higher (<0.0001) in the model, demonstrating their mixed effect.
CONCLUSIONS: This study found a higher occurrence of PI and IS in EMS. Besides, independent
and mixed effects of these variables on low AA in EMS were very significant.


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