Objective: To determine the prevalence of NCD risk factors among University of the West Indies staff in Trinidad and Tobago. To compare these results with the national population-based 2011 STEPS NCD risk factor survey for Trinidad & Tobago.
Methods: A self-administered questionnaire was conducted during April-May 2014, the target population being all staff members. Standardized measurements of cardiovascular fitness, weight, height and blood pressure were taken. Data was analyzed and results were compared to the national Trinidad and Tobago 2011 STEPS NCD survey.
Results: The participation rate was 24.9% (522/2100), 32.4% males (n=169) and 67.6% females (n=353). Among participants, 65.7% of males and 64.8% of females were either overweight or obese, 86.9% ate <5 fruits and vegetables/day. Low cardiovascular fitness was found in 36% males and 31.0% females; 13.1% of males and 2.8% of females were smokers while 39.1% and 7.6% were binge drinkers; One fifth of the participants had blood pressures >140/90, while 6.4% had blood pressures >160/100.
The results were similar to the 2011 risk factor profile of Trinidad and Tobago, although the UWI staff smoked less but drank alcohol more frequently, but binge drinking rates were similar. UWI males were more obese and UWI women had higher blood pressure and higher cholesterol compared to the general Trinidad and Tobago population.
Conclusion: The results confirm a high prevalence of NCD risk factors among these staff as among the Trinidad and Tobago population. The study reveals opportunities to inform policy on strategies to positively impact the risk factors.
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