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Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Young Adults

A Literature Review

Tran, Dieu-My T. RN, BSN; Zimmerman, Lani M. PhD, RN, FAAN, FAHA

Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing: July/August 2015 - Volume 30 - Issue 4 - p 298–310
doi: 10.1097/JCN.0000000000000150

This extensive literature review focuses on cardiovascular risk factors in young adults, with an emphasis on hyperlipidemia and hypertension. Multiple studies have confirmed that hyperlipidemia and hypertension during young adulthood are associated with coronary heart disease (CHD) in later decades, and CHD is one type of cardiovascular disease. The primary risk factors identified in the literature that are predictive of CHD are age; gender; race/ethnicity; smoking status; high blood pressure; and elevated lipid levels, especially low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. The current guidelines are insufficient to address screening and treatment in young adults with cardiovascular risk factors. Future studies are warranted to confirm the extent of cardiovascular risks in young adults, which can then be targeted to this population for prevention and intervention strategies.

Dieu-My T. Tran, RN, BSN PhD Nursing Student, College of Nursing, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha.

Lani M. Zimmerman, PhD, RN, FAAN, FAHA Professor, College of Nursing, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Lincoln.

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

Correspondence Dieu-My T. Tran, RN, BSN, University of Nebraska Medical Center, 985330 Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE 68198-5330 (

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