Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are on the rise in low- and middle-income countries. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence and correlates of multiple NCD risk factors among adults in Sudan.
Cross-sectional nationally representative data were analysed from 7,722 18–69 year-old individuals (median age = 36 years) that took part in the “2016 Sudan STEPS survey.”
The prevalence of individual NCD risk factors was 94.6% inadequate fruit and vegetable intake, followed by hypertension (31.6%), general overweight/obesity (28.0%), low physical activity (21.3%), current tobacco use (15.7%), raised total cholesterol (13.6%), diabetes (5.9%), and heavy episodic drinking (1.7%). In all, 34.2% had 0–1 NCD risk factor, 33.5% 2 risk factors, and 32.4% 3 or more NCD risk factors. In adjusted ordinal logistic regression analysis, compared to individuals 18–34 years old, persons 50–69 years old were 3.52 times (AOR: 3.52, 95% CI: 2.88–4.31) more likely to have multiple NCD risk factors. Men were 21% (AOR: 1.21, 95% CI: 1.00-1.46) more likely than women to have multiple NCD risk factors. Individuals residing in urban areas were 86% (AOR: 1.86, 95% CI: 1.49–2.32) more likely than individuals residing in rural areas to have multiple NCD risk factors, and compared to persons never married, married participants and persons separated, divorced or widowed persons were 51% (AOR: 1.51, 95% CI: 1.22–1.87) and 74% (AOR: 1.74, 95% CI: 1.22–2.47), respectively, more likely to have multiple NCD risk factors. Compared to persons with less than 500 pounds household income, persons with over 2000 pounds household income were 75% (AOR: 1.75, 95% CI: 1.28–2.38) more likely to have multiple NCD risk factors. Compared to women who cannot read or write, women who had more than primary education were 38% (AOR: 1.38, 95% CI: 1.06–1.80) more likely to have multiple NCD risk factors. Compared to men who were self-employed, engaged in non-paid work, were students or unemployed (able to work), government employees, non-government employees, retired or unemployed (unable to work) had a significantly higher odds of having multiple NCD risk factors.
Almost one in three participants had three or more NCD risk factors and several associated variables were identified that can facilitate in designing intervention programmes.