Perception of and risk factors for type 2 diabetes among students attending an upstate New York college: A pilot study
Diabetology and Metabolic Syndrome
Background: Detecting early type 2 diabetes (T2D) risk factors may reduce or prevent the development of the disease. We conducted a pilot study to generate preliminary data on the perception of T2D and further determined the prevalence of T2D risk factors among college students at an upstate New York campus. Methods: Metabolic profiles were available for 44 college students for cross-sectional analysis. The American Diabetes Association screening guidelines were used to determine risk factors, and perceived susceptibility, perceived seriousness, and self-efficacy were determined with the Health Belief Model's constructs. Sociodemographic and anthropometric data, nutrition knowledge, and metabolic profiles were obtained. Results: The most common T2D risk factors were lack of physical activity (61.4%), decreased high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-c, 56.8%), high fasting blood glucose (FBG, 45.5%), family history of T2D (43.2%), increased body mass index (BMI, 36.4%), and high blood pressure (15.9%). A high proportion (70%) of participants with detected impaired FBG perceived they were at low risk of developing T2D. Participants with a family history of T2D (mean rank = 24.2) perceived the seriousness of T2D at a similar level as those without family history (mean rank = 21.2), with no significant difference (U = 205, P = 0.430). Nearly 30% of students did not feel confident they could prevent the development of T2D. Pearson's correlations revealed direct relationships between perceived risk of T2D and BMI (r = 0.49, P = 0.001), fat mass percent (r = 0.51, P < 0.001), and waist circumference (r = 0.42, P = 0.005), and an inverse relationship was found with HDL-c (r = - 0.41, P = 0.005). The association of perceived risk of T2D with a family history of T2D revealed a trend toward significance (Chi-squared = 5.746, P = 0.057), and the association of perceived risk of T2D with physical activity was not significant (Chi-squared = 1.520, P = 0.468). The nutrition knowledge score was 74.32 ± 15.97 (recommended is > 75). However, knowledge scores regarding recommended intake of fruits, vegetables, high sodium foods, and whole grains to prevent T2D were only 36.36%, 34.09%, 47.73%, and 63.6%, respectively. Conclusions: The discordance between college students' perceived risk and prevalence of T2D risk factors warrants strategies to address misperceptions of T2D risk and improve lifestyle behaviors among this study sample.
Antwi, J., Lavin, R., Sullivan, S., & Bellavia, M. (2020). Perception of and risk factors for type 2 diabetes among students attending an upstate New York college: A pilot study. Diabetology and Metabolic Syndrome, 12 (1) https://doi.org/10.1186/s13098-020-00535-1