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Subgrouping of risky behaviors among Iranian college students: a latent class analysis

Authors Safiri S, Rahimi-Movaghar A, Yunesian M, Sadeghi-Bazargani H, Shamsipour M, Mansournia MA, Fotouhi A

Received 1 March 2016

Accepted for publication 31 March 2016

Published 22 July 2016 Volume 2016:12 Pages 1809—1816


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Roger Pinder

Saeid Safiri,1,2 Afarin Rahimi-Movaghar,3 Masud Yunesian,4,5 Homayoun Sadeghi-Bazargani,6 Mansour Shamsipour,5 Mohammad Ali Mansournia,1 Akbar Fotouhi1

1Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, 2Department of Public Health, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Maragheh University of Medical Sciences, Maragheh, 3Iranian National Center for Addiction Studies (INCAS), Iranian Institute for Reduction of High-Risk Behaviors, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, 4Department of Environmental Health Engineering, School of Public Health, 5Department of Research Methodology and Data Analysis, Institute for Environmental Research, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, 6Road Traffic Injury Research Center, Department of Statistics & Epidemiology, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran

Background: Risky behaviors may interrupt development or cause considerable morbidity or mortality. This study’s purpose was to determine subgroups of students based on risky behaviors and assess the prevalence of risky behaviors in each of the subgroups.
Participants and methods: This anonymous cross-sectional study was carried out in October 2015 and November 2015, with 1,777 students from Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, through multistage random sampling method. The data were analyzed by latent class analysis.
Results: The prevalence rates of cigarette smoking (more than or equal to ten cigarettes), hookah use (≥1 time/month), and alcohol consumption (≥1 time/month) during the last year were 12.4% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 10.9–14.0), 11.6% (95% CI: 10.0–13.1), and 4.9% (95% CI: 3.8–5.9), respectively. The prevalence rates of illicit opioids (1.8%, 95% CI: 1.2–2.5), cannabis (1.2%, 95% CI: 0.7–1.7), methamphetamine (1.1%, 95% CI: 0.6–1.6), methylphenidate (2.5%, 95% CI: 1.7–3.2), and extramarital sex (5.5%, 95% CI: 4.5–6.6) over the last year were also estimated. Three latent classes were determined: 1) low risk; 2) cigarette and hookah smoker; and 3) high risk. It is worth mentioning that 3.7% of males and 0.4% of females were in the high risk group.
Conclusion: Subgrouping of college students showed that a considerable percentage of them, especially males, were classified into the high risk and cigarette and hookah smoker groups. Appropriate preventive measures that consider multiple different risky behaviors simultaneously are needed for this part of the population.

Keywords: alcohol drinking, sexual behavior, latent class analysis, risk behaviors, drug abuse, substance abuse

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