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The 13th World Conference on Tobacco OR Health

Building capacity for a tobacco-free world

July 12-15, 2006, Washington, DC, USA

Thursday, July 13, 2006 - 12:00 PM

Cambodian Medical Students' health behaviors (tobacco, alcohol and exercise) and prevention counseling beliefs (Healthy Doc- Healthy Patient)

Linda Hyder Ferry, MD, MPH1, Floyd Petersen, MPH2, Sunbaunat Ka, MD3, Daravuth Yel, MD, MS4, Sovann Sin, MD, MPH5, Vutha Vorn, DDS6, Bunty Chengli, MD7, Chhor Daphea Chhea, MD5, Lim Try Heng, MD5, Vinntak Sung, MD8, Chourn Thou, MD9, Bunthy Chiv, MD10, Jayakaran Job, MD, DrPH2, Emmanuel Rudatsikira, MD, MPH2, Pramil Singh, DrPH2, Synnove Knutsen, MD, PhD2, and Erica Frank, MD, MPH11. (1) Preventive Medicine, Loma Linda University School of Medicine & School of Public Health, Nichol Hall Room 1516, Loma Linda, CA 92350, (2) Epidemiology and BioStatistics, Loma Linda University School of Public Health, Evans Hall Room 203, Loma Linda, CA 92350, (3) Cambodian Faculty of Medicine, University of Cambodia, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, (4) Tobacco Free Initiative (TFI), World Health Organization, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, (5) National Center for Health Promotion, Ministry of Health, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, (6) Faculty of Dentistry, University of Health Sciences, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, (7) Reproductive and Child Health Alliance, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, (8) National Center for Health Promotion, Technical Bureau, Ministry of Health, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, (9) Epidemiology Unit, National Institute of Public Health, Ministry of Health, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, (10) Cambodia Health Committee, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, (11) Family and Preventive Medicine, Emory University, Atlanta, GA

Objective: There is a well-established relationship between US physicians' personal heath habits and their prevention counseling practices. We hypothesized a similar relationship for Cambodian medical students.

Methods: Medical students' tobacco, alcohol and exercise patterns have never been studied comprehensively prior to the Healthy Doc Healthy Patient (HDHP) study in 17 US schools (1998-2003). Our project modified and translated the HDHP questionnaire for the Cambodian, Buddhist culture using medical student focus groups and obtained local Ethical Committee approval. Students signed a consent form, completed an anonymous, self-administered, 93-item questionnaire and were tested for expired carbon monoxide (Bedfont Micro III Smokerlyzer).

Results: We tested the last four classes of medical students (330/464, 71.1%) between February and October 2005. Tobacco use (26/330, 7.87%) is almost entirely a male phenomenon (24/223, 10.8% vs. 2/107, 1.87%). Daily smoking began after age 20 in 75% of smokers. Smokers and non-smokers agreed that smoking is harmful (97.3%) and wanted a smoke-free campus (92.7%). Over half of smokers (11/20, 55%) said they smoked to reduce sorrow and depression.

More than half (58.2%) never drink alcohol (192/330). Of those who drink, 18.5% reported using alcohol on >3 days in the last month (61/330), and 10.9% had more than 5 drinks/episode in the last month (36/330). Ever smokers (63.9%) were more likely to drink than never smokers (14.6%).

Relationships of personal risk behaviors, counseling practices and gender/cultural norms for exercise habits, alcohol and tobacco use will be correlated and compared to results from the HDHP study in US medical students.