Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
School of Kinesiology and Recreation
Dale D. Brown
The purpose of this study is to investigate the prevalence of cardiovascular disease risk factors in college-age students as compared to their health risk appraisal score for cardiovascular disease. Two-hundred fifty-seven females and two-hundred eight males from a moderately-sized, midwestern university participated in the study with the subjects having a mean age of 21.06 ±2.13 yr. and 21.57 ±2.34 yr., a BMI of 23.89 ±4.64 and 25.73± 4.03, and a body fat of 27.88 ±8.91% and 17.86± 8.49%, respectively. All testing was completed during a single session. Height and weight were obtained to calculate body mass index (BMI). Physical fitness assessments were obtained but not analyzed in this study. Blood lipid levels were obtained on subjects, requiring them to report to the laboratory having fasted and restricting fluid intake 12 hours prior to testing. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize the results with averages for females and males of the most prevalent risk factors: HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol, triglycerides, blood glucose, diastolic blood pressure, and systolic blood pressure. The averages for HDL cholesterol were 64.30 ± 17.62 and 51.17 ± 13.62 mg/dL for females and males, respectively. The averages for LDL cholesterol were 78.50 ± 26.65 and 77.54 ± 30.97 mg/dL for females and males, respectively. The average for total cholesterol were 163.64 ±33.75 and 148.79 ±31.29 mg/dL for females and males, respectively. The average for triglycerides were 108.89 ± 54.80 and 111.58 ± 115.80 mg/dL for females and males, respectively. The average for blood glucose was 89.47± 15.94 and 90.59± 12.26 mg/dL for females and males, respectively. The average for diastolic blood pressure was 64.71 ± 14.77 and 70.21 ± 12.22 mm Hg for females and males, respectively. The average for systolic blood pressure was 103.86 ± 20.33 and 114.74 ± 17.68 mm Hg for females and males, respectively. While most of the subjects were in the “desirable” cut point range, there is a prevalence of cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome risk. When compared to the health risk appraisal data scores, majority of the low risk scores had desirable levels for total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and body mass index. In terms of HDL cholesterol, the low risk group category was almost evenly split between optimal levels and suboptimal levels. These results demonstrate that health risk appraisals (HRA) in college students provide a very good prediction of their physical assessment of cardiovascular disease. The HRA scores aligned closely with their biomedical data. While only 2.11% of the students would be classified with metabolic syndrome, 41% of college age students have one or more of the risk factors for metabolic syndrome. It was concluded that education and awareness of cardiovascular disease risk factors is needed in college age students.
Curtis, Brandi, "The Relationship between the Prevalence of Cardiovascular Disease and Health Risk Appraisals in College-Age Students" (2020). Theses and Dissertations. 1248.