Exploring Awareness of Health Conditions Associated with Metabolic Syndrome amongst Pharmacy Students
Background: In spite of the sweeping recognition of metabolic syndrome (MeS) as an underlying cause of cardiovascular risks is increasing globally; modest research has been conducted concerning the knowledge awareness of this emerging problem among pharmacy students. This study aims to determine pharmacy students' level of knowledge and awareness concerning MeS and its associated cardiovascular risks.
Methods: A web-based survey was administered to 332 pharmacy college students from eight universities in Jordan during March 2017 and March 2018. The survey contained questions related to seven conditions associated with MeS, including diabetes, adiposity, hypertension (HTN), high serum cholesterol (hyperlipidemia), arteriosclerosis, stroke, and myocardial infarction (MI). Knowledge score per question was estimated as follows: good knowledge if 81-100% of students answered the question correctly, fair and poor knowledge if 51-80% and ≤50% of students responded to the question correctly, respectively. Poisson regression model was used regressing total knowledge score on study parameters.
Results: Overall, pharmacy students' results showed they were most acquainted with knowledge about stroke, as the interpreted average percentage of correct answers was 65.8%. Students were least acquainted with MI, as students only responded to 35.1% of the enquired questions correctly. A pattern of a significant gap in knowledge regarding HTN and MI emerged since a good level of knowledge was missing for all the question topics indicated for those two conditions. Gender (being a female), student's cumulative grade point average (GPA) and the year in college (one to five years) were positively associated with more knowledge.
Conclusions: The outcomes of this study suggest that MeS awareness among pharmacy students is weak in many important aspects. This study may have implications that can be successfully harnessed in pharmacy education modalities in the academic sphere.
Keywords: Metabolic Syndrome, Pharmacy Students, Cardiovascular Diseases, Diabetes.