Background: Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is a preventable condition. Targeting those who are at
risk of getting this disease is essential.
Objective: To examine T2D risk among university students in Malaysia and determine its relationship
with socio-demographic characteristics and physical activity.
Methods: The study was conducted cross-sectionally on 390 students selected using quota sampling
method from 13 faculties in Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. A short form of the International Physical
Activity Questionnaire and Finnish Diabetes Risk Score were used to measure the physical activity and
Results: The T2D risk was found to be low (M = 5.23, SD = 3.32) with more than two-third of the student
population at the low risk level while a significant proportion of 23.8%, 5.6% and 0.3% having
slightly elevated, moderate and high risk respectively. The T2D risk was significantly related to their
age (rho = 0.197, p < 0.000), gender (U = 12641, p = 0.011), ethnic group (χ2 = 18.86, p < 0.000),
marital status (χ2 = 6.597, p = 0.037), residence (U = 10345, p = 0.008), academic year (χ2 = 14.24, p =
0.007) and physical activity (rho = -0.205, p < 0.000 and χ2 = 13.515, p = 0.001). Of these, only age
(β=0.130) and physical activity (β=-0.159) remained significant in the regression analysis.
Conclusion: The findings call for a radical change in the nursing practice to target the amendable factors
that are significant in order to prevent the progression of the risk towards type 2 diabetes.