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International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health

Editor-in-Chief: Merrick, Joav

Editorial Board: Birch, Diana ML / Blum, Robert W. / Greydanus, MD, Dr. HC (Athens), Donald E. / Hardoff, Daniel / Kerr, Mike / Levy, Howard B / Morad, Mohammed / Omar, Hatim A. / de Paul, Joaquin / Rydelius, Per-Anders / Shek, Daniel T.L. / Sher, Leo / Silber, Tomas J. / Towns, Susan / Urkin, Jacob / Verhofstadt-Deneve, Leni / Zeltzer, Lonnie / Tenenbaum, Ariel

CiteScore 2018: 0.79

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.350
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Assessment of health literacy with the Newest Vital Sign and its correlation with body mass index in female adolescent students

Samira Olyani
  • Health Education and Promotion, Student Research Committee, School of Health, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran
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/ Hadi Tehrani
  • Social Determinants of Health Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran (Islamic Republic of)
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/ Habibullah Esmaily
  • Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Health, Social Determinants of Health Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran
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/ Mohammadreza Mohammadzadeh Rezaii
  • Social Determinants of Health Research Center, School of Health, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran
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/ Mohammad Vahedian-shahroodi
  • Corresponding author
  • Social Determinants of Health Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran, Phone: +985138546634, Fax: +985138522775
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Published Online: 2017-09-25 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijamh-2017-0103



One of the significant outcomes of health education is health literacy (HL), which should be expanded to improve health promotion.


The aim of this study was to assess HL and its relationship with Body Mass Index (BMI) in female adolescent students.


This study was conducted on 235 female students (aged 13–15 years) which were selected with cluster sampling.


For assessing HL, the Newest Vital Sign (NVS) was used and BMI Z-score was evaluated following the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines. Data were analyzed using SPSS version 16.


Based on this study’s results, 11.5%, 37% and 51.5% of adolescents had adequate HL, limited HL and inadequate HL, respectively. There was a negative correlation between adolescents HL and BMI, rs = −0.233 (p < 0.001).


Most of adolescents had limited HL and students with higher BMI had a worse HL score. As a matter of fact, as adequate HL has a significant role for promoting health in the society policy makers must design educational programs for adolescents especially in non-medical settings such as schools where adolescents spend most of their time.

Keywords: adolescent; education; physical health; health literacy


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About the article

Received: 2017-06-17

Accepted: 2017-07-16

Published Online: 2017-09-25

Conflict of interest: Authors declared they have no conflicts of interest.

Funding sources: No financial support was received for this study.

Citation Information: International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health, 20170103, ISSN (Online) 2191-0278, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijamh-2017-0103.

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