Cardiovascular Diseases Risk Factors Among Young Adults: A STEPwise-Approach-Based Study in Three University Setups in Morocco
Hamza Loukili1, 2, *, Gabriel Malka1, Helene Landrault1, Driss Frej2, Mohamed Amine3
1 Epidemiology and Biostatistics Research Unit, Interface-Center for Medical Applications, Mohammed VI Polytechnic University, Ben Guerir, Morocco
2 Applied Economics Laboratory, Mohammed V University, Rabat, Morocco
3 Community Medicine and Public Health Department, PCIM Laboratory, School of Medecine, Cadi Ayyad University, Marrakech, Morocco
Although chronic diseases, particularly cardiovascular diseases, are more likely to emerge during adulthood, their development begins earlier during childhood and adolescence. In this respect, we explored cardiovascular disease risk factors among students in three elite schools in Morocco.
The data collecting process was carried out using the French version of the STEPwise approach developed by the WHO to monitor Non-Communicable Diseases risk factors, producing thus standardized data and allowing wide comparability across similar studies. The investigation was conducted through on-site and online configurations. We only relied on the first and second sequences of the STEPS questionnaire in order to collect behavioral and physical data, on which our analysis was based. The choice of the population of Moroccan high intellectual potential youth is interesting, as they represent future physicians and leading engineers of tomorrow.
A total number of 325 subjects were surveyed. The prevalence of auto-reported diabetes and hypertension was respectively 3.31% and 8.54%. Alarmingly, a large proportion of respondents had undiagnosed hypertension. Besides, the prevalence of obesity was found to reach 6.17%, with no significant difference between gender groups.
Hypertension appears to be largely undiagnosed which urges taking actions towards raising awareness among youth about chronic diseases and their risk factors as well as highlighting their preventability to prevent their future development.
Keywords: Obesity, Hypertension, Public health, Young adults, STEPwise approach.
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* Address correspondence to this author at Epidemiology and Biostatistics Research Unit, Interface-Center for Medical Applications, Mohammed VI Polytechnic University, Ben Guerir, Morocco; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org