Cardiovascular Risk Factors and Diabetes in Medical Students: Observational Study, Experience in Colombia
Keywords:Risk Factor, Cardiovascular Diseases, Diabetes mellitus, Medical Students
Background: Cardiovascular Disease is a leading cause of preventable death. Cardiovascular risk factors’ identification is the cornerstone for effective and early interventions decreasing the frequency of acute health-threatening events. Since adolescence and youth are very vulnerable stages to develop risky habits, we decided to run 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 in which 450 medical students from Colombia were assessed. 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 years (SD 7.3) of whom 40% were male and 60% were female. Overall, 92% have a low risk of cardiovascular disease, 6% are at moderate risk and 2% are at high risk. 92% have low risk of diabetes mellitus and 8% are at moderate risk of having diabetes mellitus in the long term.
Conclusion: The early identification of and intervention on risk factors could decrease significantly the onset of acute health-threatening cardiovascular pathologies. As medical students, adolescents and young adults are at risk of developing unhealthy habits which increase the incidence of cardiovascular disorders. The use of anthropometric measures and validated risk score scales is an appropriate way to get evidence for starting early interventions.
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