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Cardiovascular Risk in Midlife African American Women Participating in a Lifestyle Physical Activity Program

Braun, Lynne T. PhD, APN, FAHA, FAAN; Wilbur, JoEllen PhD, APN, FAAN; Buchholz, Susan W. PhD, APN; Schoeny, Michael E. PhD; Miller, Arlene M. PhD, RN, FAAN; Fogg, Louis PhD; Volgman, Annabelle S. MD, FACC; McDevitt, Judith PhD, RN

Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing: July/August 2016 - Volume 31 - Issue 4 - p 304–312
doi: 10.1097/JCN.0000000000000266
ARTICLES: Prevention
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Background: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the largest contributor to disparate morbidity and mortality in African American women.

Objective: The aims of this article are to describe in a cohort of sedentary, urban community-based midlife African American women eligible for a physical activity program their (1) CVD risk factors and (2) awareness, treatment, and control of hypertension and hypercholesterolemia.

Methods: Cross-sectional baseline findings on 297 women were examined at baseline of a controlled physical activity clinical trial. Cardiovascular disease risks included hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, smoking, diabetes, and obesity. Among women with hypertension and hypercholesterolemia, rates of awareness, treatment, and control were calculated.

Results: Our sample had significantly more hypertension and obesity than reported in other national samples of African American women. The women mirrored national samples of African American women: fewer than 60% had adequate control of hypertension. Versus national samples of African Americans (men/women combined), our study groups both showed significantly lower low-density-lipoprotein cholesterol level: treatment, 33% versus 63.8%, and control, 24.8% versus 45.3%.

Conclusions: Because national samples are more heterogeneous, our sample provides important information about CVD risks in inactive, urban community-dwelling, midlife African American women. Given the opportunity, many such women at elevated risk for CVD are willing to participate in a physical activity intervention. They must be identified and offered pharmacological and lifestyle interventions.

Lynne T. Braun, PhD, APN, FAHA, FAAN Professor, College of Nursing, Department of Adult Health and Gerontological Nursing, College of Nursing, Chicago, Illinois.

JoEllen Wilbur, PhD, APN, FAAN Professor and Associate Dean for Research, College of Nursing, Rush University, Chicago, Illinois.

Susan W. Buchholz, PhD, APN Professor, College of Nursing, Rush University, Chicago, Illinois.

Michael E. Schoeny, PhD Assistant Professor, College of Nursing, Rush University, Chicago, Illinois.

Arlene M. Miller, PhD, RN, FAAN Professor and Department Chair, Community, Systems, and Mental Health Nursing, College of Nursing, Rush University, Chicago, Illinois.

Louis Fogg, PhD Associate Professor, College of Nursing, Rush University, Chicago, Illinois.

Annabelle S. Volgman, MD, FACC Professor, Rush College of Medicine, and Medical Director, Rush Heart Center for Women, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois.

Judith McDevitt, PhD, RN Associate Professor, College of Nursing, Rush University, Chicago, Illinois.

This project was supported by award number R01NR004134 from the National Institute of Nursing, National Institutes of Health.

The authors have no funding or conflicts of interest to disclose.

Correspondence Lynne T. Braun, PhD, APN, FAHA, FAAN, Department of Adult Health and Gerontological Nursing, College of Nursing, Rush University, 600 S Paulina St, 1064F Chicago, IL 60612 (Lynne_T_Braun@rush.edu).

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