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Epidemiol Health. 2018;40(1):e2018030. English. Original Article. https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2018030
Kabir K , Bahari A , Hajizadeh M , Allahverdipour H , Tarrahi MJ , Fakhari A , Ansari H , Mohammadpoorasl A .
School of Medicine, Alborz University of Medical Sciences, Karaj, Iran.
Department of Statistics and Epidemiology, Faculty of Health, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran.
School of Health Administration, Faculty of Health, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada.
Research Center of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran. ampoorasl@gmail.com
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Esfahan University of Medical Sciences, Esfahan, Iran.
Health Promotion Research Center, Zahedan University of Medical Sciences, Zahedan, Iran.
Abstract

OBJECTIVES

Substance abuse behaviors among university freshmen in Iran are poorly understood. This study aimed to identify, for the first time, subgroups of university freshmen in Iran on the basis of substance abuse behaviors. Moreover, it examined the effects of socio-demographic characteristics on membership in each specific subgroup.

METHODS

Data for the study were collected cross-sectionally in December 2013 and January 2014 from 4 major cities in Iran: Tabriz, Qazvin, Karaj, and Khoramabad. A total of 5,252 first-semester freshmen were randomly selected using a proportional cluster sampling methodology. A survey questionnaire was used to collect data. Latent class analysis (LCA) was performed to identify subgroups of students on the basis of substance abuse behaviors and to examine the effects of students' socio-demographic characteristics on membership in each specific subgroup.

RESULTS

The LCA procedure identified 3 latent classes: the healthy group; the hookah experimenter group; and the unhealthy group. Approximately 82.8, 16.1, and 2.1% of students were classified into the healthy, hookah experimenter, and unhealthy groups, respectively. Older age, being male, and having a family member or a close friend who smoked increased the risk of membership in classes 2 and 3, compared to class 1.

CONCLUSIONS

Approximately 2.1% of freshmen exhibited unhealthy substance abuse behaviors. In addition, we found that older age, being male, and having a close friend or family member who smoked may serve as risk factors for substance abuse behaviors.

Copyright © 2019. Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors.