Objective: To determine the prevalence of risk factors for chronic non-communicable diseases (CNCDs) among staff of The University of the West Indies (UWI), Cave Hill campus, in Barbados.
Methods: A self-administered questionnaire comprising validated questions from the WHO STEPS NCD Risk Factor Survey, the Jamaica Healthy Lifestyle (JHL) Survey and the Behaviour Risk Factor (BRF) Survey, was conducted during the Staff Health Day in May 2010, and at four locations on campus during July 2010. Standardized measurements of weight, height and blood pressure were taken. Data were analysed using EXCEL and STATA and results were compared to the Barbados 2007 STEPS NCD survey.
Results: The target population was all staff at the Cave Hill campus of UWI. The coverage rate was 25.2% (269/1068); 63.8% of males and 75% of females were either overweight or obese. Ninety-seven per cent ate less than the recommended 5 fruits and vegetables per day. Low levels of physical activity were reported in 51.9% of males and 62.2% of females. Thirty-two per cent of males and 13% of females were binge drinkers. All participants had at least one of the risk factors (current daily smoker, < 5 fruits and vegetables/day, physical inactivity, overweight/obese and raised blood pressure) whilst 48% of males and 57.2% of females demonstrated three or more risk factors. These results are similar to those found in the Barbados STEPS NCD risk factor survey of 2007.
Conclusion: The results confirm a similar high prevalence of NCD risk factors among Cave Hill UWI staff as among the Barbadian population. The study reveals opportunities to inform policy on strategies to positively impact the risk factors.