Abstract: Introduction: Risk perception is associated to different socio-cultural and individual factors, like subjective judgment and level of Health literacy (HL), which are poorly studied in Italy. This study has investigated students' environmental risk perception related to the level of HL. Methods: Enrolment was carried out in scientific-health and humanistic-legal-social sectors in the University of Catania. The students filed out a structured questionnaire in three sections that explore sociodemographic, environmental risk perception and HL data. The HL was calculated by assigning a score of 1 to each correct answer and calculating their mean. The mean values were divided into two categories: poor vs good (≤ 9 vs> 9). A risk perception score was calculated by summing up the item ratings. Collected data was stratified by HL. A logistic regression model was used to identify possible factors associated with a low environmental risk. Significance was set at p≤0.05. Results: We enrolled 574 students (365 females, 209 males), aged between 18 and 44, 320 of whom attending scientifichealth sector and 254 humanistic-legal-social sector respectively. At the logistic regression analysis the students with a low environmental risk perception resulted to be affected by almost a threefold risk of getting away from high HL (OR = 2.96; CI 95% 1.16-7.54). HL was influenced by students' age (<21 vs >22; p-value= 0,000), the sectors (scientific-health vs humanistic-legal-social sectors) and duration of the study course (three vs six years; p-value 0,000). Conclusions: Our results highlight that focus on HL might improve students' environmental risk perception which may bring positive impact on making decisions, planning and implementing strategies.
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