Multiple health risk factors in vocational education students: A systematic review

Prince Atorkey, Judith Byaruhanga, Christine Paul, John Wiggers, Billie Bonevski, Flora Tzelepis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
38 Downloads (Pure)


Health risk factors such as tobacco smoking, inadequate fruit intake, inadequate vegetable intake, risky alcohol consumption, physical inactivity, obesity, anxiety and depression often com-mence during adolescence and young adulthood. Vocational education institutions enrol many students in these age groups making them an important setting for addressing multiple health risk factors. This systematic review examined (i) co-occurrence of health risk factors, (ii) clustering of health risk factors, and (iii) socio-demographic characteristics associated with co-occurrence and/or clusters of health risks among vocational education students. MEDLINE, PsycINFO, EMBASE, CINAHL and Scopus were searched to identify eligible studies published by 30 June 2020. Two reviewers independently extracted data and assessed methodological quality using the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute Quality Assessment Tool. Five studies assessed co-occurrence and three studies clustering of health risks. Co-occurrence of health risk factors ranged from 29–98% and clustering of alcohol use and tobacco smoking was commonly reported. The findings were mixed about whether gender and age were associated with co-occurrence or clustering of health risks. There is limited evidence examining co-occurrence and clustering of health risk factors in vocational education students. Comprehensive assessment of how all these health risks co-occur or cluster in vocational education students is required.

Original languageEnglish
Article number637
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Clustering
  • Co-occurrence
  • Multiple health risk factors
  • Vocational education students


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