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Khat use and Its Determinants among University students in Northwest Ethiopia: A multivariable analysis

Berihun Assefa Dachew, Berhanu Boru Bifftu, Bewket Tadesse Tiruneh.

Background: Khat (Catha edulis) chewing is becoming a significant public health problem, and it becomes a common practice among high school, college, and university students.

Objective: This study was conducted to assess the prevalence and determinants of khat chewing among Gondar University students in Northwest Ethiopia.

Materials and Methods: The study was conducted among 872 randomly selected students in April 2014. A structured self-administered questionnaire was used to collect the data. Descriptive statistics and logistic regression were performed to examine the prevalence and predictors of current use of khat.

Results: The lifetime and current prevalence of khat chewing among respondents was 17.9% (95% CI: 15.320.5) and 13.6% (95% CI: 11.415.9), respectively. Mental distress (adjusted odds ratio (AOR): 1.66 (95% CI: 1.052.61)), having friends who chewed khat (AOR: 3.9 (95% CI: 1.655.21)), cigarette smoking (AOR: 18 (95% CI: 9.518)), increased classwork load (AOR: 1.9 (95% CI: 1.123.2)), and religious practice (AOR: 0.4 (95% CI: 0.240.71)) were found to be independent predictors of chewing.

Conclusion: The current prevalence of khat chewing was found to be high. Actions targeting those determinants are essential to effectively reduce khat use among university students.

Key words: Current prevalence, khat use, University of Gondar

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