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: 15.3–20.5) and 13.6% (95% CI: 11.4–15.9), respectively. Mental distress (adjusted odds ratio (AOR): 1.66 (95% CI: 1.05–2.61)), having friends who chewed khat (AOR: 3.9 (95% CI: 1.65–5.21)), cigarette smoking (AOR: 18 (95% CI: 9.5–18)), increased classwork load (AOR: 1.9 (95% CI: 1.12–3.2)), and religious practice (AOR: 0.4 (95% CI: 0.24–0.71)) 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.
Current prevalence, khat use, University of Gondar