Revista de Salud Pública
Print version ISSN 0124-0064
HERNANDEZ-ESCOLAR, Jacqueline; HERAZO-BELTRAN, Yaneth and VALERO, María V. The frequency of cardiovascular disease-associated risk factors in a university student population. Rev. salud pública [online]. 2010, vol.12, n.5, pp.852-864. ISSN 0124-0064. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0124-00642010000500015.
Objective Estimating the frequency of cardiovascular disease-associated risk factors in a university student population in Cartagena, Bolívar. Methods A cross-sectional survey was conducted to establish the frequency of being overweight, obesity, dyslipidaemia, physical inactivity and smoking habits in 301 students from the University of Cartagena. Simple random sampling was carried out without replacement. The International Physical Activity Questionnaire-short form (IPAQ-sf) was applied in addition to lab tests for evaluating total cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL and LDL cholesterol. The main analysis was carried out for establishing the possible risk factors associated with heart diseases; a 0.05 statistical significance level was used. Results 34.2 % of the students in the survey had alterations regarding their body mass index. 64.1 % of the sample population were physically inactive and 23.9 % stated that they smoked. Triglycerides had the highest lipid prevalence (24.6 %). Statistically significant differences were found regarding gender, recorded statistically significant differences when were related to physical activity levels, smoking and HDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels (p<0.05). Conclusions Cardiovascular risk factors in this student population revealed similar patterns to those found in the Caribbean region which have shown epidemiological and demographic transition, as reported by national and local health services. These findings thus strongly suggest the need for implementing opportune health promotion and prevention models for reducing the burden of non-communicable disease and chronic disease-associated death.
Keywords : Obesity; overweigh; health promotion; motor activity; lipids.