Assessment of Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors Among School Children in a Private School, Karachi, Pakistan: A Pilot Study
(41st Biennial Convention) The prevalence of cardiovascular diseases is increasing in Pakistan due to unhealthy life style, and lack of awareness. As these diseases have their origin in the early period of life, therefore, the prevention of these diseases in early stage is necessary to prevent and control them. Identify the children at higher risk for developing CVDs at their later ages, and to provide more focused interventions for them. To determine the children's reported gaps in knowledge and attitude related to diet and physical activity. A cross sectional pilot study was conducted at a private school in Karachi, Pakistan. A total of 24 students (10 boys, 14girls) were selected through a systematic random sampling. Data was collected through a structured questionnaire. Their height and weight were taken to calculate BMI. Majority of the school children (66.7 and 62.5%) reported that CVDs were the leading cause of death among the adults in Pakistan, while 25% were not aware. Only 29.2% agreed that CVDs were preventable diseases. 50 % reported only one factor (exercise) as being a preventive measure of CVDs. A significant majority of the participants (62.5 per cent) do not perform any physical exercise. Mean time spent on doing home work was 19.46 hours/week, and doing sedentary recreational activity was15.80 hours/week for both genders. Girls were remarkably more overweight/obese as compared to the boys Boys were more active, and they showed less tendency of obesity/overweight as compared to girls. The findings of this study highlight a significant lack of knowledge of modifiable risk factors among the school children. The results suggest that there is a need of planning health promotion program through schools by focusing on children and their parents in a participatory approach.