Khat chewing and health related quality of life: Cross-sectional study in Jazan region, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Kamaludin A. Sheikh*, Maged El-setouhy, Umar Yagoub, Rashad Alsanosy, Zafar Ahmed

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)
2 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background: The chewing of Khat leaves, a natural psychoactive substance is widely chewed in countries of East Africa and the southern Arabian Peninsula, and is reported to be associated with a range of unfavorable health outcomes including khat dependence. The impact of Khat chewing on Health Related Quality of Life is yet to be explored. Aims: to measure and compare the quality of life of the khat chewers and non-khat chewers using a short form health survey (SF36), and to assess factors associated with Khat chewing using SF36 in a sample of adult population in Jazan region, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.Methods: A total of 630 participants from two independent male populations of khat chewers and non-khat chewers were recruited into a cross-sectional survey study. A self administrative survey based on the SF-36 questionnaire was used to collect data on measures of health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Socioeconomic data of the respondents were also collected for detailed analysis. Data analysis include: descriptive statistics, reliability tests (Cronbach's alpha and intraclass correlation coefficient), and bivariate analysis (Chi square and Mann-Whitney U-test) to compare HRQoL of Khat chewers and non-Khat chewers.Results: The odds of being a khat chewer were higher in respondents with a lower socioeconomic status. The SF-36 scores were significantly lower in all domains for respondents with khat chewing, indicating that non-khat chewers had higher health perceptions compared with those chewing khat. The overall mean score of HRQoL for non-khat chewers was 92.7% (SD 5.53) compared with 63.5% (SD 21.73) for the khat chewing group. The study had shown good internal consistency and reproducibility across the eight subscales of SF-36 questionnaire (α 0.74-0.95). The Mann-Whitney U-test showed a significant difference between khat chewers and non-khat chewers (P < 0.001).Conclusions: This study measured and compared the quality of life of khat chewers and non-khat chewers using a generic health survey (SF36). The study had shown that khat chewing is associated with lower quality of life (HRQoL) and lower socioeconomic status. However in future a more refined SF36 developed especially for Khat chewers can provide more useful information.

Original languageEnglish
Article number44
Number of pages10
JournalHealth and Quality of Life Outcomes
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Apr 2014
Externally publishedYes

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