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Behavioral risk factor clusters among university students at nine universities in Libya
University of Skövde, School of Health and Education. University of Skövde, Health and Education. Department of Surgery, Hamad General Hospital, Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, State of Qatar / College of Medicine, Qatar University, Doha, State of Qatar / Faculty of Applied Sciences, University of Gloucestershire, Gloucester, United Kingdom. (Individ och samhälle, Individual and Society VIDSOC)
Faculty of Medical Technology, Misrata, Libya.
Utrecht Centre for Child and Adolescent Studies, Utrecht University, Netherlands.
Unit for Health Promotion Research, Institute of Public Health, University of Southern Denmark, Esbjerg, Denmark.
2018 (English)In: AIMS Public Health, ISSN 2327-8994, Vol. 5, no 3, p. 296-311Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objectives: This study identifies and describes the clustering of 5 behavioral risk factors (BRFs) among university students. We also investigated whether cluster membership is associated with the students' self-rated academic performance and self-rated health. Material and methods: A sample of 1300 undergraduates at 6 universities and 3 colleges in Libya completed a self-administered questionnaire that assessed BRFs (nutrition, physical activity, alcohol consumption, smoking, illicit drug use, inadequate sleep). A two-step cluster analysis generated student clusters with similar lifestyles. Results: Two contrasting clusters of almost even size emerged (after exclusion of alcohol and illicit drug use due to very low prevalence). Cluster 1 comprised students with higher engagement in all forms of physical activity, higher levels of health consciousness, greater daily fruit/vegetable intake and better sleep patterns than students in cluster 2. Only as regards the consumption of sweets, cluster 1 students had less favorable practices than cluster 2 students. The prevalence of smoking was equally low in both clusters. Students in cluster 2, depicting a less healthy lifestyle, were characterized by a higher proportion of women, of students with less income and of higher years of study. Belonging to cluster 2 was associated with lower self-rated health (OR: 0.46, p < 0.001) and with lower self-rated academic performance (OR: 0.66, p < 0.001). Conclusion: Preventive programs should not address BRFs in isolation and should particularly target students with clustering of BRFs using specifically tailored approaches.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 5, no 3, p. 296-311
Keywords [en]
university students, gender, risk factors, health behaviors, cluster analysis
National Category
Health Sciences
Research subject
Individual and Society VIDSOC
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:his:diva-16180DOI: 10.3934/publichealth.2018.3.296ISI: 000442478900006OAI: oai:DiVA.org:his-16180DiVA, id: diva2:1247163
Available from: 2018-09-11 Created: 2018-09-11 Last updated: 2018-10-23Bibliographically approved

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El Ansari, Walid

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
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More styles
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More languages
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