Perception of Conditions related to Metabolic Syndrome and Cardiovascular Risk Factors among University Students

Melissa Rapley, Najat Yehia, Robert Dale Lee

Research output: Other contributionpeer-review


Background: The prevalence of metabolic syndrome is on the rise, especially among young adults, and its onset may be early in life. Thus, the main objective of this study was to assess students’ awareness, knowledge, and perception of concepts related to metabolic syndrome and examines gender differences. Methods: A sample of 243 students (72% females and 28% males), with a mean age of 20.6 years, was selected randomly from university campus during spring 2012. Students filled out a self-reported online questionnaire that included 87 questions related to conditions relevant to metabolic syndrome. Questions were divided into seven domains: diabetes, adiposity, hypertension, high blood cholesterol, arteriosclerosis, stroke, and heart infarction. Anthropometric measurements including height, weight, waist circumference, percentage body fat, and visceral fat score were measured. Fisher’s Exact Test was used to test the differences in students’ responses. A P-value <0.05 was considered a statistically significant difference. Results: Results indicated that the majority of students have “satisfactory” knowledge on conditions related to metabolic syndrome with few gender differences. More than 80% of students identified correctly symptoms and complications of diabetes, hypertension, arteriosclerosis, heart infarction and stroke. Thirty seven percent of male students falsely belief that diabetics may only eat special sweets compared to 22% of females (p<0.01). Adiposity was identified by 92% of students as a risk factor for heart disease. However, more than half of the students falsely identified liposuction as a state-of-the-art treatment in adiposity therapy. Conclusion: Overall, students showed a good understanding of illnesses related to metabolic syndrome with few false beliefs.
Original languageEnglish
StatePublished - Nov 12 2013


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