241640 Perceived Risk of Developing Diabetes Among College Students: Beliefs about Inherited and Behavioral Risk Factors Across the Life Course

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Justin Dickerson, MBA , Department of Health Policy & Management, Texas A&M Health Science Center, School of Rural Public Health, College Station, TX
Matthew Lee Smith, PhD, MPH, CHES , Department of Health Promotion and Behavior, The University of Georgia, College of Public Health, Athens, GA
Erica T. Sosa, PhD , Health & Kinesiology, University of Texas - San Antonio, San Antonio, TX
E. Lisako J. McKyer, PhD, MPH , Department of Health & Kinesiology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
Marcia G. Ory, PhD, MPH , Social & Behavioral Health, Texas A&M HSC School of Rural Public Health, College Station, TX
Objectives To determine how college students perceive their risk of developing diabetes over their life course, with specific emphasis on their beliefs about the influence of inherited versus behavioral risk factors.

Methods An Internet-based survey instrument was administered to students of a major university and was analyzed for perceived risk of developing common chronic diseases. 703 students responded to the survey. A bivariate ordered probit regression model was used to simultaneously predict perceived risk for both ten-year absolute risk of diabetes and lifetime absolute risk of diabetes.

Results Ten-year absolute risk and lifetime absolute risk were both increased when the respondent self-identified with a race other than white (β = 0.422, p = 0.000 and β = 0.334, p = 0.000, respectively), and when the respondent had an increasing number of family members with diabetes (β = 0.330, p = 0.000 and β = 0.450, p = 0.000, respectively). Beliefs linking behavioral risk factors to perceived risk of developing diabetes across the life course were not statistically significant.

Conclusion Behavioral risk factors were not statistically significant predictors of perceived risk for developing diabetes across the life course. Inherited risk factors, such as race and number of family members with diabetes, were statistically significant predictors of perceived risk of developing diabetes across the life course. Evidence-based interventions about the role of behavioral risk factors in developing diabetes are needed.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
The learner will be able to identify the perceived importance of inherited and behavioral risk factors for developing diabetes among late adolescents.

Keywords: Diabetes, College Students

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a doctoral student with both professional and academic expertise in statistical methods relating to public health programs. My professional expertise is derived from over 11 years of experience as an applied statistics professional, and government health care economist.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.