Factors associated with the subjective health complaints among adolescents: Results from the ASSO Project
Keywords:Malaise, Risk behaviours, Smoking initiation, Alcohol consumption
AbstractObjectives. Subjective health complaints (e.g. headache and feeling low) are common among adolescents. The objective of this study was to identify the factors associated with the subjective health of adolescents from a population-based point of view. Material and methods. A sample of 712 students was recruited within the web-based Project ASSO (Adolescents and Surveillance System for the Obesity prevention), funded by the Italian Ministry of Health and piloted in Palermo. A 0-100 quantitative score (arbitrarily named "psychosomatic malaise index") based on the frequency of occurrence of seven subjective health complaints was created and used as outcome; socio-demographic characteristics, medical items and lifestyle data were collected as potential explanatory variables. Associations were evaluated through a bivariate analysis first, and a multiple linear regression model afterwards by correcting for confounders. Results. The psychosomatic malaise index averaged 49.0 within the girls and 36.8 within the boys. After adjustment, the psychosomatic malaise index was confirmed to be significantly higher in the females, subjects with a diagnosed disease, smokers and alcohol consumers. Conclusions. Beyond the female gender, incorrect lifestyles such smoking and drinking alcohol may play an important role in the quality of life of adolescents, and thus preventive actions by the public health services should be addressed mainly to avoid such habits in young populations.
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