Assessment of Cardiovascular Risk Factors Among University Students: The Gender Factor

Mohammad Y. Gharaibeh, Karem H Alzoubi, Omar F. Khabour, Lubna Tinawi, Rawan Hamad, Esraa F. Keewan, Sulaiman K. Matarneh, Mahmoud A. Alomari


Background: Evidence indicates that the pathophysiological process of cardiovascular (CV) disease begins at early age, though the manifestations of the disease do not appear until middle age adulthood. Risk factors for CV disease, particularly lipoprotein profiles, are affected by physiological abnormalities, and lifestyle related issues. To evaluate prevalence of CV diseases risk factors among university students and to investigate relation between number of risk factors and body anthropometric, hematological and biochemical indices parameters.

Methods: In this cross sectional study, 348 students were randomly recruited. Blood glucose, cholesterol profile (total, HDL, and LDL cholesterol), and triglyceride were measured using standard protocols. Physical activity (PA) level was assessed using the short-form Arabic version of the International Physical Activity Questionnaires (IPAQ).

Results: The most commonly encountered CV disease risk factor was low levels of HDL-C, followed by physical inactivity, high levels TG, and obese BMI. When stratified by gender, females were less likely to have low HDL-C, and high TG, whereas, males were more likely to have overweight or obese BMI (P < 0.001). About 49% of the participants had at least one CV disease risk factor, where as the prevalence of having one, two and three or more CV disease risk factors were 35.7%, 9.3% and 4%, respectively. Additionally, the number of CV disease risk factors showed strong positive correlation with increases in body fat and bone percentages, glucose, total cholesterol, TG, LDL-C, BMI, and WHR (range of R<sup>2</sup>: 0.17 to 0.603). On the other hand, physical activity, percentages of body water and muscle, HDL-C showed inverse strong correlation with cardiovascular risk factors (range of R<sup>2</sup>: -0.239 to -0.412).

Conclusions: Results indicate the high prevalence of CV disease risk factors among university students, and stress the need for early intervention programs to counteract these risks.

Cardiol Res. 2012;3(4):172-179


CV disease; Risk factors; University; Students; Jordan

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