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Year : 2008  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 184

Health-Related Behaviors of Sudanese Adolescents

1 Ahfad University for Women, Omdurman, Sudan
2 Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands

Correspondence Address:
M E Moukhyer
P.O.Box 167, Omdurman
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 19034840

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Context: Adolescence is the age period from 10-19 years when lifestyle patterns of behavior are being formed. These behaviors set the stage for future health problems. Behaviors and lifestyles are determinants of future health, illness, disability, and premature mortality. Objectives: To gain new insight into health behaviors, lifestyles and their context in adolescents in order to assess the determinants and barriers to the improvement of health. Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive study. A random sample of 1200 adolescents within the age group of 10-19 years (53.2% girls and 46.8% boys) were interviewed individually. A self-reported questionnaire was developed for data collection by trained interviewers. Bivariate and logistic regression analyses were conducted. Outcomes: The overall prevalence of smoking among adolescents was 4.9%. More boys (9.1%) than girls (1.3%) reported smoking. Older participants and those with higher levels of education reported higher rates of tobacco use (10.4 % and 7.9%). Consumption of alcohol was significantly more common for boys (2.3%). More boys than girls reported they were actively engaged in sports. Inactivity was significantly higher among older age groups and was associated with lack of education. 58% of girls and 8.7% of boys were physically inactive. More than half of the boys go hungry due to lack of availability of food in the house and this was somewhat less common for girls (43%). Adolescents 16 years and older reported significantly less consumption of both nutritious and non-nutritious foods than other age groups. Conclusion: Our research contributed to greater understanding of current health-related behaviors of Sudanese adolescents. There are a number of implications for potential interventions (e.g. physical inactivity of girls and hunger experiences).

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