Screening for Cardio-Metabolic Risk Factors Among Student Nurses: A Cross-Sectional Study

  •  Noluthando Mkanzi    
  •  Daniel Ter Goon    
  •  Uchenna Benedine Okafor    
  •  Eyitayo Omolara Owolabi    


Non-communicable diseases are a growing public health phenomenon in both developed and developing countries. This study examines the prevalence and correlates of cardio-metabolic risk factors among student nurses at a nursing college in East London, South Africa. The WHO STEPwise standardized questionnaire was used to collect information on socio-demographic data and behavioural characteristics (smoking, alcohol consumption, physical inactivity, and dietary intake) of 228 nursing students. Height, weight, waist circumference, blood pressure and fasting blood glucose were measured. The prevalence of overweight, obesity pre-diabetes and diabetes was 33%, 44%, 6% and 7%, respectively. Pre-hypertension and hypertension occurred in 44% and 11%, respectively. Female gender and increasing age were independent predictors of obesity. In the logistic regression model analysis, participants who were above 35 years [AOR=9.12, CI 3.37-24.68, p<0.000], female [AOR=4.10, CI 1.94-8.64, p=0.000], and do not meet the WHO sport criteria of physical activity participation [AOR=2.11, CI=1.10-4.07, p=0.025] had the likely odds of obesity. Interventions targeting physical activity and healthy lifestyle behavioural programmes to promote the health and wellness of the nursing students would improve the metabolic health of the nurses in the setting.

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