Factors Associated with Snuff Usage and its Neurocognitive Effects among Women in Ndola Urban, Zambia
Objectives: To investigate the factors associated with snuff usage and its neurocognitive effects among women.
Design: A cross sectional study encompassing a sample of 73 females with an average age range between 18 and 60 years was employed. Participants in this study came from three townships namely Masala having 28 (38.4%), Mushili with 25 (27.4%) and Kabushi with 20 (34.2%) and primary as their education level.
Measures: Validated snuff questionnaire was used to determine the factors to snuff usage then Trail Making test and WAIS-III Symbol Search test were used to measure attention and working memory. The Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 20 computer software was used to analyse quantitative data in order to generate simple descriptive statistics in form of frequencies and tables. An analysis of the correlation with Pearson analysis was conducted to find out the relationship between the frequency of snuff usage with attention and working memory among women.
Results: From the Trail Making test administered, 62 (84 %) had deficits on attention and 56 (77%) had severe memory impairment according to WAIS III Symbol Search test. Concurrently, most women use snuff for physical (body weight loss /gain, sexual pleasure whitening of teeth, energy for ADL etc) and Pharmacology (Cure for headache, toothache, flu, regulate Bp, siphoning vagina fluid, boost immune system etc ) factors.
Conclusion: The analysis from this study showed a statistically significant relationship between frequency of snuff usage (1-10 times per day) with attention and working memory as snuff impairs both attention and memory. The more one uses snuff the more impairment in memory and attention. In addition, the study revealed social, pharmacology and physical as most factors leading to the use of snuff among women. It is hoped that the results of this study will open research prospects on women using snuff and policy makers to come up with intervention measures in order to arrest this mushrooming problem among women.