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Prevalence and Determinants of Metabolic Risk Factors Among University Students in Dodoma and Morogoro Regions Tanzania

University students often face a multitude of health risks due to the transitional phase they experience. The lifestyles they adopt increase their susceptibility to metabolic issues that are of a public health concern. Metabolic risk factors, encompassing obesity, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and elevated glucose levels pose significant health concerns among this demographic. The cluster of these metabolic risk factors is known as a metabolic syndrome which has the potential to increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases amongst young populations who are linked with the adaptation of health risk behaviours. The objective of this cross-sectional study was to assess the prevalence and determinants of metabolic risk factors of university students in two regions that were purposively selected from mainland Tanzania. The distribution of continuous variables was tested for normality using box plots and-Q plots and the Shapiro-Wilk test. Multivariate linear regression analysis was used to assess the determinants of metabolic risk factors among variables. The metabolic risk factors that were assessed include blood pressure, glucose levels, central obesity, and lipid profiles. The most prevalent metabolic risk factor was the high levels of low-density lipoprotein among university students. The study found Low-density lipoprotein levels that were above optimal, borderline high, high and very high. The low-density lipoprotein levels found in the study were 24 (20.3%), 16 (13.6%), 13 (11%) and 17 (14.4%) for above optimal, borderline high, high, and very high respectively. Significant associations were also found in the determinants of the metabolic risk factors, for central obesity (P=0.000) and for triglyceride levels (P=0.000); (P=0.004). Factors that increase the susceptibility to metabolic risk factors include the location of the university, scholarship status and Individual dietary diversity scores. Saint John’s University in Dodoma was associated with low-density lipoprotein and Total cholesterol (β=17.01, SE=10.1, p=0.1) and (β=-0.170, SE=0.0519, p=0.01) respectively. Receiving scholarship and high dietary diversity score was associated with low-density lipoprotein (β=21.83, SE=10.4, p=0.1); (β=5.731, SE=3.14, p=0.1) respectively. University students are living with metabolic risk factors that could have future health implications. Understanding these aspects can help in devising targeted interventions and educational programs to mitigate metabolic risks and promote healthier lifestyles among university students.

Metabolic Risk Factors, Metabolic Syndrome, University Students, Determinants, Prevalence, Tanzania

APA Style

Mgetta, N., Muhimbula, H., Kulwa, K. (2024). Prevalence and Determinants of Metabolic Risk Factors Among University Students in Dodoma and Morogoro Regions Tanzania. Journal of Food and Nutrition Sciences, 12(1), 27-40.

ACS Style

Mgetta, N.; Muhimbula, H.; Kulwa, K. Prevalence and Determinants of Metabolic Risk Factors Among University Students in Dodoma and Morogoro Regions Tanzania. J. Food Nutr. Sci. 2024, 12(1), 27-40. doi: 10.11648/j.jfns.20241201.13

AMA Style

Mgetta N, Muhimbula H, Kulwa K. Prevalence and Determinants of Metabolic Risk Factors Among University Students in Dodoma and Morogoro Regions Tanzania. J Food Nutr Sci. 2024;12(1):27-40. doi: 10.11648/j.jfns.20241201.13

Copyright © 2023 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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