Cardiovascular Risk Factors in University Students

Lucero del Alba Gimenez, Laura S. Degiorgio, Martín Díaz Zechin, Micaela I. Balbi, Martín Villani, Diego Manni, Daniela L. Paoletti, Viviana N. Cova, Marcela I. Martinelli

Abstract


Background: The beginning of university studies is usually associated with lifestyle changes, which can predispose to thedevelopment of cardiovascular risk factors (CVRF).Objective: The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of CVRF in first-year medical students attending UniversidadNacional del Litoral during 2017.Methods: We conducted an analytical, cross-sectional study with consecutive sampling of 463 first-year students of the Schoolof Medicine. The following CVRF were considered: body mass index (overweight/obesity), waist circumference (InternationalDiabetes Federation criteria), blood pressure (bordeline blood pressure and hypertension), physical activity (low level), tobaccouse (current smoker or history of former smoking), alcohol intake (binge drinking) and diet quality (unhealthy and unhealthybut manageable). The results were expressed as percentages. A hypothesis test was performed to determine a difference inproportions according to sex (α=0.05 and 95% CI.Results: A total of 457 students (18-21 years) were evaluated; 68% were women. The prevalence of borderline blood pressureand hypertension was significantly greater in men (28.9%). Overweight was present in 23% of the students and 18% hadhigh waist circumference, without differences between sexes. The prevalence of current smoking or former smoking waspresent in 17% of the students. Binge drinking was more common in men, while the prevalence of physical inactivity wasmore frequent in women.Conclusion: Most students had at least one CVRF. The high prevalence of men with borderline blood pressure and hypertensionand overweight in both sexes is emphasized. Most students have to change the diet quality.

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