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Risky behaviors may interrupt development or cause considerable morbidity or mortality. This study’s purpose was to determine subgroups of students based on risky behaviors and assess the prevalence of risky behaviors in each of the subgroups.


This anonymous cross-sectional study was carried out in October 2015 and November 2015, with 1,777 students from Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, through multistage random sampling method. The data were analyzed by latent class analysis.


The prevalence rates of cigarette smoking (more than or equal to ten cigarettes), hookah use (≥1 time/month), and alcohol consumption (≥1 time/month) during the last year were 12.4% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 10.9-14.0), 11.6% (95% CI: 10.0-13.1), and 4.9% (95% CI: 3.8-5.9), respectively. The prevalence rates of illicit opioids (1.8%, 95% CI: 1.2-2.5), cannabis (1.2%, 95% CI: 0.7-1.7), methamphetamine (1.1%, 95% CI: 0.6-1.6), methylphenidate (2.5%, 95% CI: 1.7-3.2), and extramarital sex (5.5%, 95% CI: 4.5-6.6) over the last year were also estimated. Three latent classes were determined: 1) low risk; 2) cigarette and hookah smoker; and 3) high risk. It is worth mentioning that 3.7% of males and 0.4% of females were in the high risk group.


Subgrouping of college students showed that a considerable percentage of them, especially males, were classified into the high risk and cigarette and hookah smoker groups. Appropriate preventive measures that consider multiple different risky behaviors simultaneously are needed for this part of the population.