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Lifestyle-related risk factors for non-communicable diseases among professionals in Nairobi

Author: Omar, A Omar

Awarding University: University of Nairobi, Kenya

Level : MPH

Year: 2007

Holding Libraries: University of Nairobi Medical Library ;

Subject Terms: Health risk assessment ; Diet ; Smoking ; Alcohol use ; Exercise ; Accountants ; Attorneys ; Physicians ; Lifestyles ; Nairobi, Kenya ;


In the developing world, infectious diseases remain a major cause of death. Over the past two decades, any advances against infectious diseases have been reversed by the rise of HIV -related disorders. Against this gloomy background, noncommunicable diseases are emerging as a major problem as well. In absolute numbers, many people died from Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) in the developing than in the developed world: 18.7 million versus 9.4 million. This study assessed NCDs risk factors among a sample of accountants, doctors and lawyers in Nairobi. The specific lifestyle-related risk factors assessed included: alcohol intake, smoking, level of physical activity, dietary intake and Body Mass Index. This was a descriptive cross- sectional study conducted between January and July 2003. Data was collected using the WHO stepwise approach to non'Communicable diseases surveillance of risk factors. Information on tobacco use, alcohol use, physical activity and dietary intake were assessed using a questionnaire. Physical measurements (height and weight) were taken to assess for presence or absence of overweight and obesity. Respondents were randomly selected from each of the three professions. A minimum of 340 respondents were required but 356 participants were recruited and interviewed. Each stratum had minimum number of respondents to allow for comparison to be done, Data was entered and analyzed using SPSS version 10.0. The results showed that all risk factors (except tobacco use) were higher in the study population than in the general population. The risk perception is low, despite the education level of the respondents. CONCLUSION: The study population is at a higher risk of Non-Communicable diseases than the general population. RECOMMENDATION: The Ministry of Health should develop NCD policy to guide prevention and control strategies. Further research should be conducted to establish extent and magnitude of NCD risk factors in the population.