Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Keywords

Biology, cardiovascular health, United States university students, Argentine university students, behaviors, risk factors, CVD

Department

Biology

Major

Biology, Hispanic Studies

Abstract

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, 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. We aimed our focus on the relationship of the risk factor and behaviors in these two populations, keeping socioeconomic status, age, and nationality constant. We then hypothesized that this relationship between risk factors and behaviors is constant in both countries. Our research supports our hypothesis that students with worse behaviors displayed increased cardiovascular risk factors.

Faculty Mentor

Don Thompson

Funding Source or Research Program

Academic Year Undergraduate Research Initiative

Presentation Session

Session E

Location

Rockwell Academic Center 178

Start Date

21-3-2014 4:15 PM

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Mar 21st, 4:15 PM

Cardiovascular Health Among US and Argentine University Students: A Comparative Study of Behaviors and Risk Factors

Rockwell Academic Center 178

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, 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. We aimed our focus on the relationship of the risk factor and behaviors in these two populations, keeping socioeconomic status, age, and nationality constant. We then hypothesized that this relationship between risk factors and behaviors is constant in both countries. Our research supports our hypothesis that students with worse behaviors displayed increased cardiovascular risk factors.