Behavioural risk factors for non-communicable diseases among undergraduates in south western Nigeria: knowledge, prevalence and correlates: a comparative cross-sectional study


Non communicable diseases
risk factors


Low- and middle-income countries are experiencing a transition from a preponderance of infectious to Non-Communicable Dis- eases (NCDs). Many of the behaviours that produce these risks often commence in late adolescence. The study assessed the prev- alence and knowledge of the major risk factors for NCDs among undergraduates in Ibadan Metropolis. This was a comparative cross-sectional study using a systematic random sampling tech- nique. Data were collected using the WHO STEPs questionnaire and were entered and analysed using SPSS version 21. Data were analyzed with descriptive statistics, Chi-square test, and logistic regression at p < 0.05. Of 1,200 undergraduates, 646 (53.8%) were male and 1062 (88.5%) were aged 15-24 years; mean age was 20.4 (+/-3.5) years; 673 (56.1%) lived on campus. Only 3.1% of the respondents were current tobacco smokers. Also, 51.3% of respondents currently take alcohol with 11.2% classified as hav- ing excess alcohol use (> 6 standard drinks in one sitting in the last 30 days). About three quarters (70.6%) of respondents were classified as having unhealthy diets based on fruit/vegetable serv- ings per day. Only 29.3% had adequate physical activity. Moreo- ver, 48.3% were classified as having poor knowledge of the risk factors for NCDs. Overall, 99.3% of respondents had at least one behavioural risk factor. Public university undergraduates were more likely to have good knowledge of these risk factors OR 1.485 (95% CI: 1.485-2.398, p < 0.001). Behavioural risk factors for NCDs were prevalent among these undergraduates. Knowledge of NCD risk factors was average and those who attended public universities were more likely to have good knowledge of the risk factors for NCDs.


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