Document Type : Research Article
Many of the factors that contribute to health risks among adolescents are preventable if identified and changed as early as possible. Early intervention can alter patterns of behaviors that would have placed young people at risk in later life. Preventing risky behavior and promoting healthy choices among adolescents can yield positive health outcomes not just during adolescence but also during adulthood.
Objectives: To assess the awareness of Non-communicable diseases and their risk factors among school going adolescents of Jamnagar city.
Methodology: A school based cross sectional study was conducted among 960 school going adolescents from the private and government schools of Jamnagar city. Socio-demographic data was collected and awareness of risk factors of non-communicable diseases was assessed with the help of a predesigned, pre-tested, self-administered questionnaire.
Results: In the study 59.6% adolescents were boys and 53.3% were studying in private schools. More than 80% knew the types, symptoms and presentation of Cancer and Diabetes while 75.5% and 74.3% respectively knew about heart disease and hypertension. For heart diseases main risk factors reported were fatty diet (35.7%), lack of physical activity and excessive anxiety (31.4%), fast food consumption (30.9%) and alcohol consumption (29.9%). For diabetes fatty diet (34.8%), soft drinks (32.2%) and fast food (27.4%) were the main risk factors. Tobacco chewing (87.4%), alcohol consumption (73.3%) and smoking (73.0%) were the risk factors for various type of cancer. Excessive salt intake (57.2%), excessive anxiety and stress (53.7%) and lack of physical activity (29.8%) were the risk factors for hypertension. Only 20.1% had reasonable knowledge about types, symptoms and nature of non-communicable diseases.