Perceived Severity of Interrelated Cardiometabolic Risk Factors among U.S. College Students.
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BACKGROUND: Cardiometabolic risk factors are related to the early onset of chronic health conditions. PURPOSE: To identify factors associated with perceptions about the severity of three interrelated cardiometabolic risks (i.e., high blood pressure, obesity, and cardiovascular disease) among U.S. college students. METHODS: Data were analyzed from 1,361 college students using an internet-delivered survey. Least squares regression models were fitted. Primary independent variables of interest were sex and cigarette smoking status. RESULTS: Relative to nonsmokers, smokers perceived high blood pressure (B=-0.09, P=0.001), obesity (B=-0.12, P<0.001), and cardiovascular disease (B=-0.12, P<0.001) to be significantly less severe. Across models, females perceived all three cardiometabolic risk factors to be more severe (P<0.005). Relative to non-Hispanic whites, Hispanic and Asian/Pacific Islander students perceived all three cardiometabolic risk factors to be less severe (P<0.002). Compared to normal weight students, overweight (B=0.41, P=0.039) and obese (B=-0.72, P<0.001) students reported higher severity perceptions about obesity only. DISCUSSION: There are discordances between perceived severity of interrelated cardiometabolic risks among college students by personal factors. TRANSLATION TO HEALTH EDUCATION PRACTICE: Smoking prevention and cessation interventions are needed to educate college students about cardiometabolic risks associated with cigarette smoking, especially among male and minority students.
author list (cited authors)
Merianos, A. L., Jacobs, W., Oloruntoba, O., Gittens, O. E., & Smith, M. L.
complete list of authors
Merianos, Ashley L||Jacobs, Wura||Oloruntoba, Oluyomi||Gittens, Olivia E||Smith, Matthew Lee