J Korean Acad Fam Med.  2007 Jan;28(1):9-16.

Caffeine Consumption and Its Related Symptoms in University Students

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Family Medicine, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. drjhn.yoo@samsung.co.kr
  • 2Department of Family Medicine, Pusan Paik Hospital, Inje University, College of Medicine, Busan, Korea.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Although caffeine is commonly consumed substance and not seriously harmful as compared to alcohol and nicotine, Korea is planning to mark on the products which contain caffeine above a definite level with "containing large amounts caffeine". At this point in time, the study concerning caffeine related symptoms is in need.
METHODS
After surveying university students by using self-administered questionnaires based on DSM-IV substance related disorder, healthy 810 subjects were assessed for socio-demographic characteristics and features of caffeine intake and its dependence, withdrawal, and intoxication.
RESULTS
The mean amount of caffeine consumption in 810 subjects was 120.49 mg (median=93.0) per day. The major features of caffeine dependence were as follows: tolerance (61.1%), withdrawal (46.3%), using more or longer than intended (46.0%), and unsuccessful attempt to cut down or control use (12.6%). The prevalence was increased by daily caffeine consumption. Among 711 subjects who had experienced no caffeine consumption over 24 hours {amount of daily caffeine consumption was 116.0 mg (median=86.5)}, 6.19% showed significant distress in usual activity, and 22.1% used caffeine contents to avoid withdrawal symptoms. The prevalence of caffeine withdrawal based on DSM-IV research criteria was 2.67% and the frequency for symptoms were as follows: fatigue (37.7%), drowsiness (17.6%), headache (14.5%), an anxiety (8.3%). In addition, the prevalence of caffeine intoxication was 2.1% and the frequency for symptoms were as follows: insomnia (41.9%), diuresis (35.8%), tachycardia (26.7%), and gastrointestinal disturbance (23.3%).
CONCLUSION
The unwanted symptoms related to caffeine withdrawal or intoxication were common in students using caffeine. Therefore, major features of caffeine-related symptoms should be considered in primary care practice.

Keyword

caffeine consumption; dependence; withdrawal; intoxication

MeSH Terms

Anxiety
Caffeine*
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
Diuresis
Fatigue
Headache
Humans
Korea
Nicotine
Prevalence
Primary Health Care
Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders
Sleep Stages
Substance Withdrawal Syndrome
Tachycardia
Surveys and Questionnaires
Caffeine
Nicotine
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