High prevalence of hypertension and cardiovascular disease risk factors among medical students at Makerere University College of Health Sciences, Kampala, Uganda.
BACKGROUND: Cardiovascular disease has become a leading global health challenge representing the largest cause of mortality in adults worldwide. Non communicable diseases are neglected in Uganda over infectious diseases. With increased urbanization, there is likely increase in burden of these NCDs yet there is paucity of reliable data regarding the NCD burden. We assessed the prevalence of hypertension and other cardiovascular disease risk factors among medical students at Makerere University, College of Health Sciences in Kampala, Uganda. METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional study at Makerere University comprising 180 medical students. We used a standardized questionnaire and anthropometric measurements to assess their cardiovascular disease risk factors using JNC-7. Logistic regression was used to assess factors associated with elevated blood pressure. RESULTS: Of the 180 students surveyed, 107 (59%) were males, mean age was 22 years (SD = 3 years), and 159 (88%) were in their preclinical years of training. Cardiovascular risk factors with the highest prevalence were alcohol consumption (31.7%); elevated systolic blood pressure (14%); and excessive salt intake (13%). Participants with elevated systolic blood pressure were more likely to be older (OR = 1.18), overweight (OR = 1.08), and with a personal history of cardiovascular disease (OR = 4.68). CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of hypertension and known cardiovascular disease risk factors is high among the medical students. Strategies to prevent cardiovascular disease among the young population should be put in place.
Nyombi, KV; Kizito, S; Mukunya, D; Nabukalu, A; Bukama, M; Lunyera, J; Asiimwe, M; Kimuli, I; Kalyesubula, R
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