Cardiovascular risk among university students from developed and developing nations

Barry E. Bleske, Steven R. Erickson, Sahar Fahoum, Krishna R. Devarakonda, Lynda S. Welage, Marah Koudmani, Narayan Pantham, Stephanie B. Edwin, Siddhartha Devarakonda, Michael J. Shea, Srinivas Martha, Nabil Khalidi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: A key aspect in halting global increase in cardiovascular events is prevention and especially prevention at an early age. Unfortunately, global data regarding cardiovascular risk factors in the young are limited. Therefore the objectives of this study were to identify the most common cardiovascular risk factors among young adults in a university setting in both developed and developing countries. Methods: Lifestyle and cardiovascular risk factors (smoking status, rates of physical activity, alcohol use, family history, blood pressure, fasting lipid panel, fasting blood glucose) were prospectively evaluated in young adults at three different university settings [University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, USA), University of Kalamoon (Deratiah, Syria), and Kakatiya University (Warangal, India)]. Results: A total of 296 subjects (mean age and standard deviation 22 ± 3 years) were evaluated. Rates of current smoking were markedly higher (p < 0.001) in Syria (43%) compared with the USA (6.2%) and India (1.7%). Subjects in India were significantly (p < 0.001) less likely to engage in physical activity (20.2%) compared with the USA (90.7%) and Syria (68.8%). Fasting blood glucose levels and body mass index were significantly higher (p < 0.001) in Syria as compared to other countries. Significant differences were also noted in LDL, HDL, and triglycerides among the three sites. Conclusions: Cardiovascular risk factors among young adults in a university setting vary depending on global setting. Based upon the results of this study, targeted interventional programs based on risk findings from individual countries may be a reasonable future strategy to help reduce long term cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-122
Number of pages6
JournalOpen Cardiovascular Medicine Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2011


  • BMI
  • Global
  • Glucose
  • Lipids
  • Young


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