Faculty Advisor(s)

Laurie Brogan



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Background: The impact of Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is typically associated with adulthood. However, its roots can be traced back to childhood. The transition from high school to college includes many lifestyle and environmental changes, which can lead to the creation of new lifelong habits. The college experience can contribute to the development of CVD risk factors with these new lifestyle changes. These risk factors lead to the development of CVD in adulthood.

Aims: This study was conducted to determine the prevalence of CVD in college-aged students and identify their risk for developing CVD in adulthood.

Methods: The study was a descriptive, cross-sectional design to analyze the prevalence of cardiac risk factors in college-age students at a small university. Based on convenience sampling, 174 participants were recruited. Participants completed a survey regarding sociodemographic characteristics, health behaviors, and biophysical markers. Height, weight, and resting blood pressure measurements were obtained.

Results: The researchers found the following prevalence rates of cardiovascular risk factors: low risk 4.6%, moderate risk 86.8%, and high risk with a known diagnosis of cardiovascular or metabolic disease 8.6%. Factors such as BMI, decreased physical activity, and poor nutrition were the most prevalent factors increasing risk within the studied population.

Conclusion: The data demonstrated the presence of notable risk for CVD in this transitional period. These findings emphasize the need for consistent screening and proper education for college-aged students. Health professionals and college campuses can play a vital role in modifying this risk by recognizing the prevalence and understanding their role in providing education to improve overall health and wellness. Health professionals have an additional role that includes consistent screening to ensure proper care, management, and disease prevention.

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Physical Therapy


cardiovascular disease, college-aged students, cardiovascular risk factors, nutrition, sleep, physical activity, BMI


Medicine and Health Sciences

The Prevalence of Cardiac Risk Factors in College-Aged Students