Cardiovascular Health of Young Adults: A Comparative Study
Authors:Gina Fitzgerald, Gabriella Smith
- Don Thompson, Professor of Mathematics , Pepperdine University
- Lee Kats, Frank R. Seaver Chair of Natural Science, Vice Provost For Research and Strategic Initiatives, Pepperdine University
Cardiovascular disease for some time has been the leading cause of death in the Western world. Primary prevention is the only way to halt the onset of cardiovascular disease, yet there is little information on the prevalence of risk factors for cardiovascular disease in young adults. This study seeks to evaluate students from the Catholic University of Argentina and Pepperdine University of America for the prevalence of CVD risk factors (diet, exercise, parental health history), as well as knowledge of CVD and daily habits that contribute to heart health. Thus we compared two cultures with very different lifestyles and prevalence of risk factors. We hypothesized that students with low prevalence of CVD risk factors are more likely to maintain a normal range of blood pressure and heart rate, and those with high prevalence of CVD risk factors are more likely to have heart rate and blood pressure outside an acceptable range. A web-based survey assessed 500 students from Buenos Aires, and 500 students from Malibu in the areas of current medical information, personal health history, family health history, personal habits, and knowledge of cardiovascular health. Additionally, blood pressure, heart rate, and demographic information were recorded. Our research supports our hypothesis: students with greater CVD risk factors displayed increased risk of heart rate and blood pressure outside a healthy range.