Employees' modifiable risk factors for cardiovascular disease: the case of an African university
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The importance of determining the prevalence of modifiable health risk behaviours among specific populations for effective preventive and therapeutic measures has been emphasized in literature. Worksites have been identified as strategic locations for the delivery of interventions to decrease the prevalence of chronic diseases of lifestyle among adult populations. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of modifiable risks factors for cardiovascular diseases of employees at an urban university in Kigali, Rwanda. Physical activity levels were assessed by the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ). Body mass index was computed from weight and height measurements. Blood pressure readings were taken and hypertension for the study was defined as >140/90 for systolic and diastolic respectively. A total of 36 participants were classified as being hypertensive. Both systolic blood pressure (r=0.627; p<0.05) and diastolic blood pressure (r=0.598; p<0.05) significantly correlates with age. A total of 41% of the participants were classified as either overweight or obese and 28% as physically inactive. Factors found to be significantly associated with hypertension was current smoking, current alcohol use, self-reported diabetes mellitus, physical inactivity and overweight and obesity. This study confirms the high prevalence of modifiable risk factors for cardiovascular diseases among adults employed at an urban university in Kigaili, Rwanda. These findings further highlight the need for health promoting initiatives at the work place and specifically the benefits of such initiatives at institutions of higher education.