Background: College students are in a critical stage in their life style due to the transition between high school and university and they may be prone to develop cardiovascular diseases. Aim: To compare the prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors (CVRF) in students from first and third year at the University of La Frontera, Temuco-Chile, according to faculty, gender and socioeconomic status (SES). Material and Methods: Cross-sectional study. Anthropometry, blood pressure, lipid profile, blood glucose, insulin resistance (IR), sedentary lifestyle, tobacco and alcohol consumption were evaluated during 2014 in randomly selected 163 freshmen aged 19.2 ± 1.8 years and 163 third year students aged 21.7 ± 2.5 years (49% females), stratified by faculty, career and gender.Results: 32.4% of students had prehypertension, 30.6% abdominal obesity, 26.3% insulin resistance, 25.7% dyslipidemia and 8.9% metabolic syndrome.Third grade students had higher prevalence of elevated total and LDL cholesterol and higher alcohol consumption, especially among students of middle and high socioeconomic level. Compared with students from the School of Medicine, students from the Education Faculty had 3.9, 3.3 and 2.7 times greater likelihood of being obese, having elevated LDLcholesterol and being smokers, respectively. Women had the highest prevalence of sedentary lifestyles and dyslipidemia. Men had the highest prevalence of prehypertension and smoking. Conclusions: Educational programs are required to promote healthy lifestyles among these students.
Cardiovascular Diseases; Insulin Resistance; Prehypertension; Risk Factors; Universities