Cardiovascular Risk Factors and Diabetes in Medical Students: Observational Study, Experience in Colombia
Background: Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of preventable death. The identification of cardiovascular risk factors is the cornerstone for effective and early intervention decreasing the frequency of acute health-threatening events. Since adolescence and youth are very vulnerable stages to develop risky habits, we conducted this study in the Multidisciplinary Universitary Camp for Research and Service.
Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study was performed in the Multidisciplinary Universitary Camp for Research and Service where 450 medicine students from Colombia are assisted. After a probabilistic random simple sampling (n=50), we applied the World Health Organization test and Finnish Risk Score to calculate Cardiovascular and Diabetes Mellitus risk, respectively. We characterized the population by sociodemographic variables and anthropometric measurements.
Results: The study shows that from 18 participating universities (n=50), the mean age of the participants was 21.14 ± 7.3 years, out of which 40% were male and 60% were female. Overall, 92% were at low risk for cardiovascular disease, 6% were at moderate risk and 2% were at high risk. 92% had low risk of diabetes mellitus and 8% are at moderate risk of having diabetes mellitus in the long term.
Conclusion: The early identification and intervention of risk factors could decrease significantly the onset of acute health-threatening cardiovascular pathologies. Adolescents and youth people, such as medical students, have a risk of developing unhealthy habits that increase the incidence of cardiovascular pathologies. The use of anthropometric measurements and validated risk score scales is an appropriate way to gather evidence for starting early interventions.
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