Vol. 4, Issue 10 (2018)
Assessment of risk factors for the four major non-communicable diseases among the catholic university of eastern Africa staff, Langata campus, Nairobi, Kenya
Author(s): Okubatsion Tekeste Okube, Flavia Benora Omandi
Abstract: Background: Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are the leading cause of global disability and premature death. The negative consequences are particularly heavy in developing countries in terms of the impact on health and psycho-social stress on the affected individual, the family and the nation at large. Annually, NCDs contribute for 15 million people premature death (30 and 69 years), and over 85% of these "premature" deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries. Besides the deaths and disability, NCDs pose a huge social-economic burden to the affected individual, the family, the community and the nation at large especially in low and middle income countries like Kenya. Globally, the four major NCDs, cardiovascular diseases (hypertension, heart attack and stroke), diabetes, cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, account for the majority of the diseases burden and of premature mortality (Action Plan for implementation of the European Strategy for the Prevention and Control of NCDs, 2012−2016). These major NCDs share four behavioral risk factors namely: unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, tobacco and harmful use of alcohol. Objective: The objective of this study was to assess the risk factors for the four major non-communicable diseases among the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA) staff. Methods and Materials: A descriptive, cross sectional, quantitative study was conducted among 301 CUEA staff. Data were collected using WHO stepwise-structured questionnaire regarding respondents’ socio-demographic, lifestyle characteristics, anthropometric and clinical. SPSS software version 22.0 was used to analyzed the data. Descriptively analyzed was done in terms of proportions and frequency tables, while the Chi-square test of independence, Fisher’s Exact test and one-Way ANOVA were used to determine relationships between various variables. The research proposal was reviewed and approved by the Ethics and Research Committee of KNH/UON. Permission to collect data was obtained from the Catholic University administration and consent was obtained from the participants before administering the questionnaire. Results: Of the respondents, majority (90.7%), were physically inactive, (53.9%) had consumed ≥5 teaspoons of sugar per day and close to half, (49.2%) had consumed fruits 1-2 days per week and a good number, 30.9% always had eaten processed foods. The mean body mass index (BMI) (p = 0.026) and the mean waist circumference (WC) (p = 0.045) were significantly higher among respondents aged below or equal to 40 years old respectively.The study also found that male respondents significantly had consumed more standard alcohol drinks in one sitting (p = 0.001) and smoked (p= 0.000) than female respondents respectively. Majority, (94%), had abnormal high BP, either prehypertension (60.8%) or overt hypertension (33.2%). The study further revealed that higher mean systolic BP was significantly associated with smoking (P= 0.003), alcohol consumption (p = 0.004). However, Lower systolic BP was significantly associated with daily consumption of vegetables (p = 0.041) and fruits (p=0.031), vigorous intensity physical activity (P= 0.001) and moderate intensity physicalactivity (P= 0.003). Higher mean diastolic BP was significantly associated with advanced age (above 60 years) (p = 0.031), alcohol consumption (p = 0.013) and daily consumption of fast foods (p = 0.032). But lower mean diastolic BP was significantly associated with daily consumption of vegetable (p = 0.001) and fruits (p= 0.004),vigorous intensity physical activity (P= 0.013) andmoderate intensity physical (P= 0.041). Lower mean BMI (p= 0.025) and mean Waist circumference (p= 0.002) were significantly associated with vigorous intensity physical activity. Additionally, lower mean BMI (p= 0.011) and mean Waist circumference (p= 0.023) were significantly associated with moderate intensity physical. However, higher BMI were significantly associated with daily consumption of fast foods (p = 0.003). Conclusion and recommendation: Higher institutions like The Catholic University of Eastern Africa are at high risk of developing non-communicable diseases due to lack of sufficient physical activities, exposure to unhealthy foods and harmful use of alcohol. It is therefore, highly recommended that higher institutions to have physical activity sessions for the staff, periodic inspection of canteens around the institutions and provide continuous health education sessions on the main risk factors for non-communicable diseases and their preventive measures.