Results of a heart disease risk-factor screening among traditional college students

J Am Coll Health. 2002 May;50(6):291-6. doi: 10.1080/07448480209603447.


The author collected data on serum cholesterol, blood pressure, and self-reported health behavior in 226 college students aged 18 to 26 years. Twenty-nine percent had undesirable total cholesterol levels, 10% had high cholesterol, 10% had high systolic blood pressure, and 11% had high diastolic blood pressure. Half or more of the participants consumed a diet high in saturated fats, engaged in binge drinking, had a parental risk for high cholesterol or blood pressure, or reported they experienced elevated stress levels. Men had higher risk-factor levels than women. Findings from a regression analysis revealed that smoking, binge drinking, lack of cardiovascular exercise, and eating a high saturated-fat diet were predictive of undesirable cholesterol levels. Study limitations included self-selection of participants and single measurements of blood pressure and cholesterol. Trained students served as screeners in the program for providing an effective, low-cost screening intervention.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Blood Pressure
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Status
  • Heart Diseases / diagnosis
  • Heart Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Risk Factors
  • Risk-Taking
  • Students / statistics & numerical data*
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Universities*


  • Cholesterol