Prevalence of negative health behavior among endemic farming population in Sri Lanka: A cross sectional study

Erandika HGN1,  Pabasara ST1, Basnayake BMDB1, Nayanamali MAA2, Samarasekara SDBPP3, Dasanayake DRTS3, Hewapathiranage HPNS1, Elladeniya N1,  Nanayakkara N1

 1Centre for Research, National Hospital, Kandy

2Faculty of Nursing, University of Colombo

3Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, University of Peradeniya

Introduction & Objectives: Alcohol consumption, smoking and betel chewing observed to be associated with chronic kidney disease unknown etiology (CKDu). Interestingly, some adverse health behaviors like betel chewing had been culturally accepted as a harmless practice. This study aimed to assess the prevalence of negative health behaviors among farmers in Wilgamuwa endemic region in Sri Lanka.

Methods: The cross sectional study was conducted using random sampling method and 384 male farmers between 30-60 years old were recruited for this study. Interviewer administered data collection form was used to collect the data from the participants.

Results: The mean age of this study group was 48.38 (SD=9.318) years. Among them, alcohol consumption, smoking and betel chewing were presented as 42% (n=164), 58.1% (n=223) and 74% (n=284) respectively. According to the independent sample T-test results, farmers who were reported with betel chewing behavior has high serum creatinine level with the mean of 154 umol/L (SD=62.12). Interestingly, participants with alcohol consumption (137.97 56.833) and smoking 142.97 umol/L (SD=61.99) had low mean values of serum creatinine level compared to non-alcoholic 164.44 umol/L (SD=65.80) and non-smoking 160 umol/L (SD=63.56) study participants. When considering the chi-square test results, negative health behavior with the educational level, 51.2% (p=0.215), 50.9% (0.212) and 53.9% (0.127) were practiced alcohol consumption, smoking and betel chewing with below o/l educational level accordingly.

Conclusion: Results of this study proposed that, betel chewing which perceived as a harmless habit was associated with increased serum creatinine level rather than alcohol intake and the smoking among this endemic farming population. Additionally, educational level plays a major role on negative health behaviors in this type of community setting.

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