Khat chewing practice and associated factors among adults in Ethiopia: Further analysis using the 2011 demographic and health survey

  • Haile D
  • Lakew Y
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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Khat chewing has become a highly prevalent practice and a growing public health concern in Ethiopia. Although there have been many small scale studies, very limited national information has been available in the general population. This study aimed to identify factors associated with khat chewing practice among Ethiopian adults.

METHODS: The study used the 2011 Ethiopian demographic and health survey data. The survey was cross-sectional by design and used a multistage cluster sampling procedure. Bivariate and multivariable logistic regression models with adjusted odds ratio (AOR) and their 95% confidence intervals (CI) were used to quantify the predictors.

RESULTS: The overall khat chewing prevalence was 15.3% (95% CI: 14.90-15.71). Regional variation was observed with the highest in Harari [(53.2% (95% CI: 43.04-63.28)] and lowest in Tigray regional state [(1.1% (95% CI: 0.72-1.66)]. Multivariable analysis showed that Islam followers were 23.8 times more likely to chew khat as compared to Orthodox followers. Being a resident in Oromiya, South Nation, Nationalities and People (SNNP), Gambella, Harari and Dire Dawa regions had 1.9, 1.6, 3.1, 5.2 and 3.5 times higher odds of chewing khat as compared to Addis Ababa residents, respectively. Adults in the age group 45-49 years were 3.6 times more likely to chew khat as compared to 15-19 years. The middle and richest wealth quintiles were 1.3 and 1.5 times more likely to chew khat, respectively, as compared to the poorest category. Rural residents had 1.3 odds of chewing khat than urban residents. Those individuals who had occupation in sales, agriculture, service sector, skilled and unskilled manual workers were 1.6, 1.3, 2.4, 1.7 and 2.3 times more likely to chew khat, respectively, as compared to those who have no occupation. Females were 77% less likely to chew khat as compared to males. Formerly married and those experienced in child death had 1.4 and 1.2 times higher odds to chew khat as compared with those never married and never had child death, respectively. Those who attended mass media were 1.4 times more likely to chew khat compared with not attended.

CONCLUSION: Khat chewing is a public health concern in Ethiopia. The highest wealth quintiles, older age group, rural residence, child death, formerly married, males, regions of Oromiya, SNNP, Gambella, Harari and Dire Dawa and Islamic followers had statistically significant association with khat chewing. Due attention needs to be given for these factors in any intervention procedures.

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