Are college students told by health care providers about their risk factors for developing diabetes?

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Abstract

Background and Purpose:

Communication about risk factors for diabetes between nurse practitioners and college students may not be occurring as the prevalence of Type 2 diabetes increases. The purpose of this secondary analysis was to evaluate if college students are being told of their risk for diabetes based on known risk factors of weight, sleep, and depressive symptoms.

Methods:

Descriptive, cross-sectional study was completed using National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2011–2012. Using listwise deletion for all variables in the analyses, the sample (N = 313) included college participants aged 18–25 years. Logistic regression model found that body mass index (BMI), sleep quantity, and gender were significant predictors of not being told one was at risk for diabetes. In those with a BMI >25 kg/m2 (n = 159), only 22% were told about their risk for diabetes by a health care provider.

Conclusions:

Nurse practitioners may not be recognizing the factors that affect on the development of prediabetes in college-age students or not providing guidance for measures to prevent the morbidity related to diabetes.

Implications for Practice:

Nurse practitioners are in a prime position to identify individuals with overweight/obesity, poor sleep, and depressive symptoms and recommend lifestyle changes to prevent the onset of disease.

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