Perceptions related to cardiovascular disease risk in Caucasian college males

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8 Scopus citations


Among younger adults, risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) is higher among men than women. Young adult males in college engage in multiple behaviors that are associated with CVD risk. Although researchers have previously explored perceptions of factors related to hypertension in African American college males, surprisingly little is known about perceptions of CVD risk in Caucasian college males. A better understanding of these perceptions may be helpful in creating interventions to improve cardiovascular health in college men. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to explore Caucasian male college students’ perceptions of CVD risk. A qualitative descriptive study using semistructured, individual interviews was conducted using a sample of 10 undergraduate Caucasian males in college (mean age 20 years) free of CVD and not enrolled in a health-related major. Interviews were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed for themes using content analysis. The data reflected two primary themes regarding perceptions related to cardiovascular risk: barriers to implementing healthy lifestyle choices and impact of behaviors on CVD risk. Barriers to implementing healthy lifestyles included availability of unhealthy foods, time constraints, convenience, social influences, and ignoring long-term consequences of behaviors. Students primarily emphasized the importance of diet and physical activity in reducing CVD risk. Future research should focus on interventions to overcome college-specific barriers to engaging in healthy behaviors among men.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)N136-N144
JournalAmerican Journal of Men's Health
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2015.


  • Cardiovascular disease
  • College men
  • Qualitative research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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