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Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2011;12(4):1023-9.

Prevalence of vitamin-mineral supplements use and associated factors among young Malaysians.

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Community Medicine Department, International Medical School, Management and Science University, Shah Alam, Malaysia.


The objective of this study is to determine the prevalence and associated factors of vitamin-mineral supplements use among Management and Science University students. The cross-sectional study protocol was approved by the Ethics and Research Committee and questionnaires were distributed randomly using simple random sampling to students from all faculties and consent was obtained. The data were analyzed using the SPSS version 13. Total number of the participants in this study is 105. More than half of them were female, older than 20 years of age and Malay (58.1%, 61.9 and 61.9% respectively). The prevalence of vitamin-mineral supplement use was 43%, the main reasons being 'to maintain good health' 80%, followed by 'to ensure adequate nutrition' (10.5%). There was a significant positive association with monthly household income and BMI (P=0.039; P=0.048), with significant dependence on race and knowledge about vitamin-mineral supplements (P=0.002). There was a significant difference between medical and health sciences as compared to non-medical and health science faculties (p =0.05). The conclusion is that although the prevalence of vitamin-mineral supplement use among university students is relatively high, many of them do not have accurate information about supplements. Therefore, there is a need to provide them with education and access to scientific and unbiased information.

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