APH 2003, 61, 151-160:
habits and cardiovascular risk factors among adolescents in Sousse, Tunisia.
H. Ghannem, I. Harrabi, A. Ben Abdelaziz,
R. Gaha, L. Trabelsi
cardiovascular risk factors, adolescent, prevention, Tunisia
undertook an epidemiological survey on a representative sample of
1569 pupils aged between 13 and 19 years from schools of Sousse in
Tunisia to study the smoking habits of school children and their links
to cardiovascular disease risk factors.
The study objectives consisted of: first, to describe Tunisian adolescent
smoking behaviour and second, to assess the influence of home environment,
friends and the different socio-demographic factors in acquiring and
maintaining the habit. We have also examined the clustering of cardiovascular
disease risk factors among smoking school children. Students were
surveyed in schools using a self-administered, anonymous questionnaire.
The smoking prevalence was 7.6% of our sample and boys are significantly
more touched than girls: 14.7% versus 1.1%; X2 = 103.4, p = 0.00001.
The smoking prevalence increased with age. For boys, it raised from
3.4% at 13 years to 32.3% at 19 years; X2 = 40.9 p = 0.0001. 60.6%
of school children are exposed to passive smoking at home. The smokers
had higher prevalences of hypertension and obesity but with no significant
difference, however they had significantly lower High Density Lipoprotein
cholesterol values (HDL) (1.35±0.27 vs 1.50±0.30 mmol/l)
p<0.05. Non-smokers had higher prevalences of Low Density Lipoprotein
(LDL) and triglycerides with no significant difference. Peer smoking
behaviour has a clear effect on the smoking habits of boys. These
findings suggest that schools and health authorities should design
specific programmes to limit the extension of tabagism among youngsters.