Title

Cardiovascular health behaviour of medical students in Karachi

Document Type

Article

Department

Family Medicine

Abstract

Objective: To assess the health behaviour and perceptions of medical students towards cardiovascular disease.Methods: This descriptive cross-sectional survey was conducted on 203 Pakistani medical students enrolled in a private medical college in Karachi, Pakistan using systematic random sampling. It was based on a self-administered questionnaire.Results: Eight percent smoked, 9% were overweight, 33% had a family history of coronary artery disease, 32% regulated dietary fat intake, 28% exercised regularly, 62.1% knew personal blood pressure and 5.4% personal cholesterol levels. Regarding developing cardiovascular disease in the future, 62% showed concern but only 54% of these adopted preventive practices. About 46% believed medical college life had a harmful effect on their health. Gender, family history and personal health status perception were behavior modifying influences (p<0.05). Reasons reported for their behavior were: no need of prevention at their age (38.3%) and never thinking about these issues (37.0%).CONCLUSIONS: The study shows a high prevalence of coronary artery disease family history, inappropriate dietary intake, physical inactivity; poor screening practices and lack of awareness. The results underscore the urgent need to promote preventive knowledge and practices among medical students, if they are to become prevention oriented physicians and counsel patients on preventive strategies to counter the rapidly increasing burden of cardiovascular diseases effectively.

Publication

Journal of Pakistan Medical Association

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