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Recent data indicate increasing rates of mortality from cardiovascular (CV) disease in Turkey. This study aimed to evaluate (CV) disease risk factors among university students in Northern Turkey.
In this cross sectional descriptive study, 302 students were randomly recruited (171 females (57%) and 131 males (43%), mean age of 20±2.1 years). Blood glucose, cholesterol profile (total, HDL, and LDL cholesterol), triglyceride, glycosylated haemoglobin, resting blood pressure, and BMI were measured using standard protocols. All participants were asked to complete a questionnaire including questions on lifestyle, genetic predisposition, smoking habit, and psychosocial factors.
The mean systolic and diastolic blood pressures of students were 127.1 mm Hg±13.5 and 78.3±mm Hg 12.4.The mean values were 98.4±14.2 mg/dL for fasting blood glucose value, 5.4±0.4 for HbA1C, 80.0±10.3 for heart rate, for total cholesterol 199.1±24.6 mg/dL, 43.8±9.9 mg/dL for HDL, 114.7±24.1 mg/dL for LDL, 199.1±24.6 mg/dL for triglyceride, 24.8±3.6 kg/m2 for BMI, 97.6±17.9 for waist circumference. No significant difference was observed between gender according to cardiovascular risk factors’ values statistically. It was observed that 111 (36.8%) students were overweight, 32 (10.6%) were obese. About 135 (% 44) of students had abnormally unacceptable WC value. Smoking habit was seen in 130 (43.0%) students [73 (24.2%) male; 57 (18.9%) female].
A substantial proportion of Turkish students were overweight or obese, and had smoking habit. Our results underscore the need to implement health promotion programmes and perform large-scale epidemiological studies within the general Turkish young adult population.