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Risk factors of non-communicable diseases among female university students of the Health Colleges of Taif University


Dalia S. Desouky1,2*, Mohamed S. Omar3,4, Dalal M. Nemenqani5,6, Jaweed Jabbar7 and Nighat M. Tarak-Khan8

Two-thirds of 2010 deaths worldwide were caused by non-communicable diseases (NCDs), with cardiovascular diseases, hypertension and diabetes mellitus coming top as the causes of mortality. In 2008, 26.6 per 1000 female population deaths, and 46 per 1000 male population deaths in Saudi Arabia were attributed to non-communicable diseases. Data about the magnitude of NCDs among young population in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) are scarce. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of risk factors of non-conmmunicable diseases among female university students. Total coverage was carried out and a cross sectional study was done using the Arabic version of the The WHO STEPwise approach to surveillance (WHO STEPs) approach. The study showed that 3.1% of the students were current smokers, 61.7% were physically inactive; most of the students were not consuming adequate amounts of fruits and vegetables. The prevalence of overweight, mild obesity and sever obesity among the students was (28.6, 15 and 3.1%, respectively). 2.5% of the students had unacceptable fasting blood glucose level, 31.1% had unacceptable fasting blood cholesterol level and 33.6% had unacceptable fasting blood triglycerides. A significant negative correlation was found between the body mass index (BMI) and the actual metabolic equivalents of task (MET) minutes of physical exercises. And a significant positive correlation was found between the BMI and blood cholesterol and triglycerides levels, waist circumference and the waist hip ratio. The study emphasises on the importance of implementing awareness programmes on non-communicable diseases among young Saudi population to adopt healthy life styles.


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