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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 27  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 261-269

Health risk behavior of adolescents with sickle cell disease in Nigeria

1 Department of Home Science and Management, Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta, Ogun, Nigeria
2 Institute of Child Health, College of Medicine University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria
3 University of Ibadan and University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria
4 Department of Epidemiology and Medical Statistics, Faculty of Public Health, College of Medicine PMB 5017, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Patience T Ajike
Child Development and Family Studies Unit, Department of Home Science and Management, Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta Ogun
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijmh.IJMH_9_22

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Background: The advances in medical practice have increased the average life expectancy of people living with sickle cell disease (SCD) to 54 years. The high prevalence rates of SCD in Nigeria therefore highlights the need for research that will support overall disease management. Objective: To determine the health risk behavior (HRB) of adolescents with sickle cell disease in Nigeria. Materials and methods: In a cross-sectional descriptive survey using purposive sampling method, 122 adolescents with SCD attending sickle cell clubs in Ogun State, Nigeria were selected for the study. A 58-item questionnaire adapted from the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) instrument developed by Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was used to collect data from the adolescents. Results: The mean age of the respondents was 15.7 ± 2.3 years, there were more females (58.2%) than males (41.2%). Majority were from a monogamous family setting and average to large family size (≥3siblings) (63% and 76% respectively) and only 6% of the parents had no formal education. The mean ages at first sexual intercourse, cigarette smoking and alcohol use were 16 ± 5.7, 15.7 ± 0.7, and 14.9 ± 1.9 years respectively. One-fifth (21.3%) have had sex and half (50%) of them have had sex by the age of 17. Over one-tenth (13.9%) had smoked cigarette while 14.8% had taken alcohol. Adolescents from monogamous family background were more likely to be involved in substance abuse (χ2: 4.99; P=0.008) and exposed to sexual activities (χ2: 10.9; P=0.004) than those from polygamous or single parent family. Conclusion: It was concluded that adolescents with SCD are involved in HRB and may be dependent on family characteristics. It is recommended that regular health care of chronically ill adolescents should include screening and counselling for HRBs.

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