Cardiovascular risk factors in young male adults: impact of physical activity and parental education

Serap Çuhadar, Ayşenur Atay, Gülcan Sağlam, Mehmet Köseoğlu, Levent Çuhadar


Background: This study was conducted to assess whether choices of physical activity, smoking status, and parental education and income were correlated with the health status of young adult males which are important for preventive health policy. 

Methods: 491 18-29-year old males from lower socioeconomical districts in Turkey participated in this study. Information about demographic characteristics, parental education, household income, smoking status, and physical activity was obtained by means of a standardized questionnaire. BMI and metabolic parameters (serum lipid profile) were assessed.

Results: Mean total cholesterol, LDL, HDL and triglyceride levels were in the normal range.  The physically active group displayed a better lipid profile. No relationship was found between parental education and serum lipids. Smoking was slightly correlated with household income (r=103, p=0.022).

Conclusion: Young adult males who participate in relatively high levels of physical activity are at lower CHD risk than less active ones. The present study also showed that lower socioecnomic status does not always correlate with higher levels of cardiovascular risk factors. In conclusion, data supports that while family history cannot be changed, HDL levels can be modulated by lifestyle factors as in other populations and that with the determined benefits of increasing physical activity and thus, HDL levels, policy reform in schools to promote physical activity are warranted.

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