Advances in Clinical and Experimental Medicine

Adv Clin Exp Med
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ISSN 1899–5276 (print)
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Advances in Clinical and Experimental Medicine

2017, vol. 26, nr 5, August, p. 843–850

Publication type: original article

Language: English

Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 3.0 Open Access

Prevalence of cardiovascular disease risk factors among pharmacy students from Wroclaw Medical University (Poland)

Rafał Ilow1,A,B,C,D, Dorota Różańska2,A,C,D, Bożena Regulska-Ilow2,B,E,F

1 Department of Food Science and Dietetics, Wroclaw Medical University, Poland

2 Department of Dietetics, Wroclaw Medical University, Poland

Abstract

Background. Atherosclerotic processes begin in childhood and their development worsens during adolescence. Early prevention of CVD risk factors may have an important impact on the future health of young people. It can be also helpful in reducing the costs of treating CVD later in life.
Objectives. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of selected cardiovascular disease risk factors among pharmacy students.
Material and Methods. The study group consisted of 1,168 pharmacy students (892 women and 276 men) from Wroclaw Medical University. The average age was 22.9 years among women and 23.2 years among men. This cross-sectional study was conducted between 2004–2012.
Results. 27.5% of men and 7.1% of women were found to be overweight, while visceral obesity was found in 15.2% and in 10.1% of students, respectively. Hypertension was diagnosed in 27.2% of men and in 7.8% of women. Low physical activity was declared by 41.9% of women and by 31.9% of men. There were 22.1% of men and 10% of women who were current smokers. The majority of the study group did not consume enough fruits and vegetables (women 61.8%, men 75%). Body mass index (BMI) was positively associated with waist and hip measurements, waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) and body fat percentage, while blood pressure was positively associated with BMI and waist circumference. It was found that men with high physical activity had lower BMIs, body fat percentage, waist and hip circumferences, WHR, diastolic blood pressure and heart rate than those who declared low physical activity. Comparing women with high physical activity to those with low physical activity, only lower heart rate was observed.
Conclusion. A higher prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors was found more often among men than women. Preventive actions which promote proper nutrition, more physical activity, smoking cessation and regular blood pressure checks and lipid profile tests should be implemented for the students.

Key words

risk factors, cardiovascular disease, lifestyle, hypertension, university students

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