Browsing Senior Honors Theses by Subject "Cardiovascular Disease"
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Student Perspectives on Cardiovascular Disease RiskCardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in America today despite being an entirely preventable disease. This is largely due to the Western diet and lifestyle that has spread to wealthy nations across the world. Many of the behavioral factors that lead to cardiovascular disease begin early in life and accumulate over time, and although it is possible to change these habits many people do not consider doing so until it is too late. If public health officials could successfully educate the public on how to improve their habits, that alone would directly prevent certain non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease as well as indirectly improve healthcare costs, the economy, and poverty. Since college students in particular are notorious for their poor diets, physical inactivity, and lack of sleep and stress management, this literature review will investigate the discrepancy between college students’ perceived risk of developing cardiovascular disease in the future, versus their actual risk based upon the behavioral risk factors they engage in today, and the effects of select demographics. The findings will be critically examined and any gaps in knowledge will be discussed along with potential solutions based on public health educational models and past areas of success.
The Impact of Sedentary Behavior on Arterial Stiffness in Physically Active College StudentsPrevious research has linked sedentary behavior (SB) to increased arterial stiffness (AS) and subsequent cardiovascular disease (CVD). Yet few studies have examined the AS of healthy individuals who are currently engaging in daily moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA).Purpose: To examine the impact of SB on AS in physically active college students. Methods: 43 college students volunteered to participate in this study, 35 participants completed the study, and of these participants, 27 met the recommended exercise guidelines of 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) per day (age: 20.5 + 1.64 years; height: 167.52 + 9.41 cm; weight: 72.23 + 17.18 kg; Body Mass Index (BMI): 25.81 + 6.32 kg/m2 ). On the first visit, participants completed demographic questionnaires and received an accelerometer to wear for at least ten days. They then returned to the lab within two weeks and completed the International Physical Activity Questionnaire- short form (IPAQ-S) and underwent anthropometric measurements. Lastly, AS was measured non-invasively via pulse wave velocity (PWV). Based on accelerometry data, participants were separated into two groups for data analyses: active couch potatoes (ACP) (> 600 min/d sedentary) and active (ACT)( < 600 min/d sedentary). Results: Average PWV among our participants was 6.26 + 2.16 m/s. Participants spent 602.45 + 122.94 minutes/day sedentary, and 59.47 + 21.05 minutes/day engaging in MVPA. Pearson correlation showed a statistically significant relationship between PWV and SB in ACP males and ACT males. Males in the ACP group had a significantly higher PWV than ACT males. Conclusion: Our study found a significant positive relationship between SB and PWV in males who achieved the recommended amount of MVPA. Previous literature has indicated a significant positive correlation between SB and AS, yet has not examined the effects of SB on AS in those acquiring daily MVPA. Future research should work to define excessive SB in order to differentiate between active couch potatoes and active individuals.