• 1 Clinical Research Centre Hospital Tengku Ampuan Afzan, Ministry of Health Malaysia, Kuantan, Pahang, Malaysia
  • 2 Biostatistics and Research Methodology Unit, School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Kubang Kerian, Kelantan, Malaysia
  • 3 KPJ Pahang Specialist Hospital, Kuantan, Pahang, Malaysia
PLoS One, 2021;16(4):e0250627.
PMID: 33909664 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0250627


BACKGROUND: Healthy lifestyle habits formed during young adulthood may have a sustaining impact on health across later life. The current study aimed to test the theoretical model of factors (selected demographic variables, knowledge of heart disease, health belief related to cardiovascular disease (CVD), self-efficacy, cues to action, and screening intention) influencing health-promoting behaviours among Malaysian university students.

METHODS: In a cross-sectional survey, the undergraduate students in Universiti Sains Malaysia were invited to complete the self-administered questionnaires. Participants were selected using a purposive sampling method. The proposed hypothesised model was analysed using a structural equation modelling with Mplus 7.3 program. A total of 788 (70.7% female) undergraduate students with a mean age of 20.2 (SD = 1.02) participated in the study. The primary outcome of knowledge, health beliefs, and health-promoting behaviours related to CVD were measured by questionnaires namely: Knowledge of Heart Disease, Health Beliefs Related to CVD, and Health Promoting Lifestyle Profiles-II.

RESULTS: The final hypothetical structural model showed a good fit to the data based on several fit indices: with comparative fit index (CFI) at .921, standardised root mean square residual (SRMR) at .037, and root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA) at .044 (90% CI: .032, .054). The final structural model supported 13 significant path estimates. These variables explained 12% of the total variance in health-promoting behaviours. Through perceived benefits, total knowledge had an indirect effect on health-promoting behaviours.

CONCLUSION: The results suggest that perceived barriers, perceived benefits, family history of CVD, and screening intention enable young adults to engage in health-promoting behaviours.

* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.