Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Dietetics and Nutrition

First Advisor's Name

Fatma Huffman

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Adriana Campa

Third Advisor's Name

Marcia Magnus

Fourth Advisor's Name

Paulette Johnson

Fifth Advisor's Name

Dalip Ragoobirsingh

Date of Defense



Purpose: The purpose of the study was to examine Jamaican adolescents in a school setting, for risk factors of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and cardiovascular diseases (CVDs).

Methods: A descriptive epidemiological cross-sectional study of 276 Jamaican adolescents (112 males and 164 females) ages 14-19 years (15.6±1.2), randomly selected from grades 9-12 from ten high schools on the island. Thirteen risk factors were examined. Risk factors were compared with BMI levels and demographics. A sub-study validated finger prick testing of fasting blood glucose, total cholesterol, and HbAlc versus venous testing in 59 subjects.

Results: Prevalence of overweight was 33.0% (n=91) with mean BMI of 23.74±7.74. Approximately 66.7% of subjects reported > 3 risk factors. The number of T2DM and CVDs risk factors increased for subjects with BMI above 25. One third of the overweight subjects were classified with the metabolic syndrome. High BMI was associated with high waist circumference (r =.767, p

(r = .180, p.05). Percentage bias for the methods of blood testing met the reference standards for fasting blood glucose but not for total cholesterol and HbAlc. Bland Altman tests of agreement between the two methods indicated good agreement for all three tests.

Conclusion: Jamaican adolescents are at high risk for T2DM and CVDs as seen in other study populations. Effective programs to prevent T2DM and CVDs are needed. Family history of diseases, anthropometric measures, and gender identified more subjects at risk than did the biochemical measures. Comparison between finger prick and venous blood methods suggested that finger prick is an adequate method to screen for risk factors in children and adolescents.





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