Diabetes Mellitus-Related Knowledge among University Students in Ajman, United Arab Emirates

Nelofer Khan, Kadayam G Gomathi, Syed Ilyas Shehnaz, Jayakumary Muttappallymyalil

Abstract


The aim of this study was to assess diabetes mellitus (DM)-related knowledge and practices among university students enrolled in non-health care related professional courses in the United Arab Emirates. Methods: A pre-tested questionnaire assessing the knowledge of DM was administered to the above-mentioned students. Data collected were transferred to PASW Statistics (Chicago, IL, USA, Version 18) and analysed. Results: Data on 168 university students (47 males and 121 females) were included in the analysis. Of the participants, 25% were overweight or obese and only 27% exercised regularly. Regarding their knowledge of DM, 70% knew that it is characterised by high blood sugar levels and identified family history as a major risk factor. Surprisingly, only just over half could link obesity and physical inactivity as risk factors for developing DM, or could identify an excessive feeling of thirst, frequent urination, and weight loss as symptoms. Knowledge of the complications of diabetes, including gangrene, loss of sensation in limbs, oral and dental complications, recurrent infections, and risk for cardiovascular disease got a moderate response. Knowledge of diabetes was found to be higher in females compared to males. No significant differences were observed in the health behaviour of participants with or without a family history of DM. Conclusion: Our study revealed that in spite of exposure to various sources of information, the participants’ level of DM-related knowledge was not adequate. We recommend the engagement of health professionals in educational settings in order to enhance health-related knowledge and inculcate healthy lifestyle practices in students.

 


Keywords


Diabetes mellitus; Knowledge; Lifestyle; Young adult; United Arab Emirates.

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Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, PO Box 35, Postal Code 123, Al-Khod, Muscat, Oman

ISSN (Print edition): 2075-051X ISSN (Internet edition): 2075-0528

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