Risk Factors for Cardiovascular Diseases Among Urban Schoolchildren from Affluent Families
Keywords:Risk Factors, Cardiovascular Diseases, Adolescents
Smoking, physical inactivity, obesity, raised blood pressure, low dietary intake of vegetables and fruits have been identified as risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. The study was aimed to find out the extent of risk factors for cardiovascular diseases among adolescent schoolchildren from affluent families of Dhaka city. This cross sectional study was done among 386 students of two English medium high schools during July 2006 to June 2007. Sixty one percent of the sample was boys. The children were of 10-18 years age group (mean=13.5 years). Half of the parents had postgraduate education, fathers mostly businessmen and service holders and mothers were housewives. Moderate physical inactivity at leisure was found among 51% of the study population. Association between moderate physical activity (MPA) at leisure and gender was statistically significant (p <0.001). Furthermore, 34% of the children spent 3 hours or more watching TV and /or using computer in a day. A little over 16% of the children were overweight and 8.5% obese. ‘Ever smoked’ were 16.5% males and 4.0% females. Association between ever smoked and gender was statistically significant (p <0.001). Moreover, 51% children took fruits and 69% took vegetables daily in their diet. Association between intake of fruits and vegetables and gender was not significant. Considering the high level of cardiovascular risk factors among adolescents, in terms of inactivity, overweight, obesity and smoking, population-wide life-style interventions specially focused on adolescents are thus recommended.
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