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Year : 2001  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 19-26

The frequency of health-related behaviors among Saudi adolescents visiting primary health care centers in Riyadh city

Al-Rabwa Center for Postgraduate Studies in Family Medicine, Ministry of Health, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Eissa I Aleissa
P.O. Box 15945, Riyadh 11454
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 23008634

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Background: The primary aim of the study was to calculate the prevalence of some of the health risk associated behavior like insufficient amount of exercise, cigarette smoking, alcohol intake, illicit drug use, driving below age of 18, and illegal sexual practices among the Saudi adolescents in Riyadh city. The second was to study the association between cigarette smoking and the above behaviors. Material and Methods: It was a cross-sectional survey with 1473 Saudi adolescents, 852 males (57.8%) and 621 females (42.2%) aged 11 to 21 years attending the selected 10 Primary Health Care Centers (PHCCs) were invited to complete a 23-item questionnaire. Part of the questionnaire was used to measure the frequency of some adolescent behavior. These questionnaires were collected within a period of one month from 15 May to 15 June 1998. The PHCCs were selected randomly in Riyadh city. Results: The prevalence of cigarette smoking was 12.7%, males smoking more than females (19.0% vs. 4.0%); male smokers exercised significantly less than nonsmokers (p<0.025). Only 4.5% of the sample reported alcohol use, 6.4% reported illicit drug use, and 8.0% reported illegal sexual practice. There is a statistically significant association between smoking and other risk behavior. It was found that 41.1% of males below the age of 18 drive a car, and 45.1% of the study sample that drive had a car accident. Conclusions: The prevalence of illicit drug use, alcohol intake, and illegal sex in Riyadh city is much less than in the west. Cigarette smoking is an antecedent to more negative behavior. Antismoking programs including the prevention of the sale and use of cigarettes in public places are needed to decrease its prevalence. The application of firm traffic laws is also essential.

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Journal of Family and Community Medicine | Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow
Online since 05th September, 2010