Risk Factors and Beliefs About Cardiovascular Disease Among Active Duty Service Members
AuthorPrue-Owens, Kathy Kay
Committee ChairJones, Elaine
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractCVD remains the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States. Nearly 17 million people die from CVD, particularly coronary heart disease (CHD) and stroke each year (AHA Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics-2006 Update, 2006), including members of the military. Unfortunately, no research has been conducted to describe CVD risk among the younger and lower ranking active duty service members, who constitute the majority of active duty personnel.The purpose of this study was to describe actual cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors and perceptions (beliefs) about CVD risk among active duty military men and women. Specific aims were to describe: 1) modifiable and non-modifiable cardiovascular risk factors specific to active duty service members; 2) perceived susceptibility of developing CVD among active duty service members; 3) perceived benefits and barriers to taking a health action to decrease the chance of developing CVD among active duty service members; 4) the differences between selected demographic variables (gender, race and rank) and modifiable cardiovascular risk factors among active duty service members; and 5) the relationship between modifiable cardiovascular risk factors and perceived susceptibility for developing CVD among active duty service members. A descriptive design was used to describe actual cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors and beliefs about CVD among active duty military men and women. Beliefs were measured by perceived susceptibility and perceived benefits and barriers to taking a health action to decrease the chance of developing CVD. The majority of the participants did not perceive themselves to be at risk for developing CVD and had a number of modifiable cardiovascular risk factors such as pre-hypertension, HTN, overweight, obese, and high cholesterol levels. Participants perceived themselves at risk of developing high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels. Based on reported modifiable risk factors for this sample, participants were at risk for overweight and pre-hypertension. Therefore, there was a significant relationship between pre-hypertension risk factor and perceived susceptibility for the development of high blood pressure. Participants perceive benefits to taking health actions to decrease the chance of developing CVD. However, there were a number of perceived barriers indicating a need for nutritional education.