Dietary modification, Body Mass Index (BMI), Blood Pressure (BP) and cardiovascular risk in medical students of a government medical college of Karachi

Sajjad Raza, Muhammad Adil Sheikh, Muhammad Fawwad Ahmed Hussain, Saad Ebrahim Siddiqui, Rabia Muhammad, Sina Aziz, Salima Qamar, Mohammad Azfar Saleem, Nida Waki, Hina Faruqi, Aisha Zia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To determine the prevalence of major risk factors including dietary modification, Body Mass Index (BMI), Blood Pressure (BP) and physical activity in medical students of government teaching hospitals of Karachi. Methods: A cross sectional study was conducted on students of Dow Medical College, Karachi, Pakistan through a structured pre-tested questionnaire. Non-probability purposive sampling was used. Smoking, hypertension, family history of cardiovascular disease (CVD), overweight and low physical activity levels are risk factors the presence of which can lead to development of CVD. Prevalence of these risk factors was determined by asking appropriate questions and through measurement of BMI and blood pressure for overweight and hypertension respectively. Awareness of risk factors was determined through knowledge of the effect of various food substances on development of CVD and of adoption of dietary changes keeping in mind the risk of developing CVD. SPSS 16.0 was used for statistical analysis. Results: A total of 132 medical students were included in the study of which 57 (43.2%) and 75 (56.8%) were male and female respectively with mean age of 20.85 ± 1.21 years. About 15.9% of students had elevated blood pressure i.e. > 140/90 mmHg. Twenty eight percent of the total students were found to be underweight and 17.4% were overweight, 5% had some history of CVD, 56.8% had family history of CVD, 9.4% were smokers and 29.5% had high physical activity level. About 87.1% had modified their diet for preventing CVD. Most of the students had adequate knowledge about the cardiovascular risk factors. Conclusion: Majority of students were not overweight. A high prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors; family history and elevated blood pressure was present. Awareness in terms of knowledge was satisfactory but implementation in terms of diet modification and adequate physical activity was lacking (JPMA 60:970; 2010).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)970-974
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the Pakistan Medical Association
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2010
Externally publishedYes


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