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Knowledge and behaviours of university students regarding risk factors associated with hypertension

Jaron Ras
Earl Visagie
Damian Munroe
Chiquita Foster
Lloyd Leach


Hypertension is a serious public health concern. In South Africa, there is a prevalence of hypertension up to 60%, which is worrisome. The  aim of this study was to determine the  relationship between university students’ knowledge and behaviours regarding the risk  factors  associated with hypertension in the Western Cape of South Africa. A cross-sectional design and  convenience sampling technique  were used to collect online questionnaire data from 153 male  (39.9%) and female (60.1%) students 18 years and older (22.7±5.3 years).  Mann-Whitney-U and  Kruskal Wallis tests were used to examine between group differences among the participants,  Further tests  included Kendall’s tau, Chi-square, and linear regression analyses used to predict the  students’ behaviours regarding hypertension from  their knowledge. The results showed that 76.4% of students had good knowledge, while 95.3% displayed negative behaviours about  hypertension. Significant differences based on gender, age-group, and year level were found between the students’ knowledge of the  risk factors of hypertension and their behaviours about the disease of study (p<0.001). However, the students’ knowledge of the risk  factors had a weak positive  association with their behaviours about hypertension, year level of study, alcohol consumption and  drinking  frequency (p<0.05). Year level of study and gender were significant predictors of the  students’ knowledge of the risks of hypertension  (p<0.05). Despite that the university students  were knowledgeable about the risk factors of hypertension, they displayed negative  behaviours about hypertension, which made them at risk for developing hypertension. 

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print ISSN: 2411-6939