This study determines the differences in health risk behavior, knowledge, and health benefit beliefs between health science and non-health science university students in 17 low and middle income countries. Anonymous questionnaire data were collected in a cross-sectional survey of 13,042 undergraduate university students (4,981 health science and 8,061 non-health science students) from 17 universities in 17 countries across Asia, Africa, and the Americas. Results indicate that overall, health science students had the same mean number of health risk behaviors as non-health science university students. Regarding addictive risk behavior, fewer health science students used tobacco, were binge drinkers, or gambled once a week or more. Health science students also had a greater awareness of health behavior risks (5.5) than non-health science students (4.6). Linear regression analysis found a strong association with poor or weak health benefit beliefs and the health risk behavior index. There was no association between risk awareness and health risk behavior among health science students and an inverse association among non-health science students.
- Health benefits
- Health risk behavior
- Health sciences
- Non-health science university students
- Risk awareness