March 2016

Volume 33, Issue 1

Areca chewing among Sri Lankan adolescents

Authors: L. Ekanayake D. Karunarathne
doi: 10.1922/CDH_3809Karunarathne05

Abstract

Objective: To determine the prevalence of and characteristics associated with Sri Lankan adolescents’ chewing of areca. Basic research design: Cross-sectional descriptive study based on a self-administered questionnaire. Participants: 633, 15-year-olds in the Bandarawela education zone of Sri Lanka. Results: Nearly 7% of the sample were current chewers of arecanut and 1% of commercially available areca products respectively. Furthermore 42% were past areca nut chewers while 3% of the sample had previously chewed commercially available areca products. According to the Poisson regression models, males were more likely than females to be past areca nut chewers as were those having an areca nut chewer at home compared to those who did not. Sinhalese students were more likely than Tamils to be past chewers. Also current areca nut chewing was independently associated with being male, having an areca nut chewer at home, Tamil ethnicity and father’s occupation. Conclusions: The prevalence of current areca nut and commercially available areca product use was low among this group of adolescents. Key words areca nut, betel quid, commercial areca products, adolescents,

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