As to our best knowledge the current study is the first study looks at CHD risk factors among young adult population in Jeddah using the Framingham algorithm to calculate the 30- years predicted risk of CHD. It may be also the first study used the recommendation of the American Heart Association’s 2013 for CHD risk assessment. All CHD risk factors including lifestyle habits (diet, exercise, and smoking), BP, glucose, and BMI in addition to the traditional lipid panel were assessed. Students were screened and told about their measurement and investigations and given the appropriate recommendations.
About 90% of individuals with CHD have at least one risk factor as smoking, diabetes, hypertension and/or hypercholesterolemia . Furthermore, the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) data among young adults aged 20–45 years (1999–2006) revealed that two-thirds have at least one CVD risk factor . Nowadays, overweight and obesity are recognized as a rising pandemic . The current study revealed that about one-third (31.8%) of all medical students were either overweight (19.1%) or obese (12.7%). These findings concur with results of Burke, et al. from USA who reported a similar rate of overweight/obesity (33%) among college students in University of New Hampshire’s in 2009 .
In the present study, the prevalence of overweight or obesity was 26.8% among females. A similar prevalence (29.1%) was reported before 2012, among females from 4 colleges of Dammam University, KSA .
Our work revealed a higher prevalence of overweight and obesity among male (47.2%) compared to females (26.8%). Similarly, a study conducted at the School of Medicine, Crete University; as their corresponding rates were 40% and 23%, for males and females, respectively . Burke, et al. reported also that males had a higher BMI compared to females . Furthermore, the rate of overweight and obesity among males in the present work coincides with results of other Saudi studies. Sabra, et al. reported a very similar rate (47.1%) among male medical students in King Fahd University in Dammam city, KSA . Comparable rates were also reported from two other Saudi studies one done among male medical students in Qaseem University (46.5%)  and the other study was done among male and female medical students in Tibia University (44.8%) . Higher rates of overweight (31%) and obesity (23.3%) were reported among male students at King Saud University, Riyadh, KSA . These alarming high rates of overweight and obesity among Saudi young adults, especially males, may require rapid targeted university intervention.
On the other hand, the rates of the present study are much higher than that reported among male medical students from USA, 1999, as only one-fifth of the participants were either overweight or obese . The cause of discrepancy between the current study and the USA study may be attributed to the outcome of the USA health promotion programs or due to the older time of conduction of the USA study.
Our study showed that nutritional risk factor of CHD was apparent. This is apparent from high students’ daily intake of fat- rich foods (73.4%) and fast-foods (13.1%). Meanwhile, there was low intake of healthy diet as vegetables and fruits. Sabra, et al. found also that 20.1% of medical male students were consuming fast foods in a frequency of 6–10 times/week . Similarly, Larson, et al., 2008, found that 24% of male and 21% of female adolescents in Minnesota reported frequent intake of fast food (≥ 3 times/week) and these rates increased during the young adulthood . In their other newer study, 2011, they reported also that frequent away-from-home fast food eating is associated with higher daily energy intake, poorer diet quality, and greater weight gain .
Regular practicing of physical activity provides significant benefits in reducing morbidity and mortality from CHD . However, our results showed that the prevalence of non-practicing physical exercise was high (57.9%). Sedentary behaviors as playing computer games and watching TV are reported to be associated with increased prevalence of obesity and hence risk of CHD [7, 27]. From our results, it was found that 10.7% and 53.2% of medical students spending ≥ 14 hours/week in watching TV and in computer usage, respectively. These results agree with results of Sabra, et al. .
The present work reported that the rate of current smoking is low (2.8%) compared to other similar studies. Sabra, et al. reported much higher rate; about 19% of male medical students were smokers . The discrepancy between the current and the Dammam study may be because the current study was conducted among both male and females, with a small male sample, while the other study was conducted only among male with a higher prevalence of smoking. It may be also attributed to the success of Smoke-free Campus program implemented in KAU.
Regarding hypertension, it was found that about one-tenth (9.3%) of medical students in the present study were diagnosed as having hypertension; 3.7% as systolic and 7.9% as diastolic hypertension. This finding should be viewed with much concern because of the tendency of high BP to track into adult life, and because of the possibility of secondary hypertension in this age group. The study Sabra, et al.  reported higher corresponding rates of systolic and diastolic hypertension (13.8%% and 3.7%, respectively). This difference may be because their study was done only among males.
The current study revealed that the prevalence of hypertension was much higher among males (20.8%) compared to females (5.6%). This agrees with results from the Grete study . An older study, 1998, conducted among black and Indian medical students of University of Natal, South Africa, reported lower rates among both sexes (2.5% and 4.2%, respectively) . The cause of the discrepancy between the current study and South African study may be attributed to the time of conduction of their study or due to difference between the two study populations.
In the current study it was found that 2.1% had high fasting blood sugar level. This coincides with results of Greece study; 1.9% of male students and 0.6% of female students had high fasting glucose level .
Our study showed that male participants had higher levels of triglycerides while females had higher prevalence of the protective HDL (18.5% of males and 14.0% of females had low HDL below the cutoff values for both genders). These results are similar to results of Burke, et al.  and also with other findings from an Indian study conducted among the population aged 20–29 years .
Using Framingham algorithm of BMI full risk score revealed that CHD risk percent in thirty years among all students was 10.7%, 2.3% and 0.5% for mild, moderate and severe risk, respectively. This result is in line with another study conducted in the USA and found that the Framingham Risk Score was below 10% for all the Chicago Heart Association Detection Project in Industry -predicted risk among the 18 to 29 year old cohort .
Finally, eighty percent of heart disease can be prevented through diet and lifestyle modifications. Young adults are ideal targets for prevention efforts because they are in the process of establishing lifestyle habits, which track forward into adulthood . Early detection of these risk factors among Saudi young adults will be very beneficial in prevention of CHD after that.