Publication: Cardiovascular risk profiles clusters among children and adolescents with disabilities

Research Impact: Physical inactivity is the fourth biggest killer! When it comes to cardiovascular risks, adolescents can be exposed to multiple behaviours to heighten risks. This study explores the differences between adolescents with and without disabilities with cardiovascular risks, as marked by physical inactivity, obesity, smoking and alcohol consumption. The 2017/2018 Health Behaviours in School-aged Children study was used in this study. Adolescents in Israel aged between 11-19y old were asked to report their disability status and their health related behaviours. Disability status was measured through the self-report child-functioning module. Two-step cluster analyses were carried out, and five profiles were produced in relation to cardiovascular risk profiles. There were a greater proportion of adolescents with disabilities with very high cardiovascular risk profiles than the proportion of adolescents without disabilities. These results may be informative of the often cited co-morbidity of people with disabilities. As such, targeted health promotion strategies are needed for people with disabilities. Education of health lifestyles and protective environments for adolescents with disabilities is needed to ensure the uptake of health behaviours, less exposure to risk behaviours, and habit forming of physical activity is urgently needed. More studies of this nature in different cultures, contexts and environments are needed.

Yehuda, M.B., Barak, S., Hutzler, Y., Ng, K., Giladi, A., Meir, L.B., Marques, A., Zigdon, A., Zwilling, M., Reges, O. and Fisch, Y.H., 2023. Cardiovascular risk profiles clusters among children and adolescents with disabilities. BMC Public Health23(1), p.896.  DOI: 10.1186/s12889-023-15796-4 

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