Perceived Severity of Interrelated Cardiometabolic Risk Factors among U.S. College Students. Academic Article uri icon


  • 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.

published proceedings

  • Am J Health Educ

altmetric score

  • 5

author list (cited authors)

  • Merianos, A. L., Jacobs, W., Oloruntoba, O., Gittens, O. E., & Smith, M. L.

citation count

  • 1

complete list of authors

  • Merianos, Ashley L||Jacobs, Wura||Oloruntoba, Oluyomi||Gittens, Olivia E||Smith, Matthew Lee

publication date

  • July 2020