College Students’ Perception of Current and Projected 30-Year Cardiovascular Disease Risk Using Cluster Analysis with Internal Validation

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Journal of Community Health

First page number:


Last page number:



Cardiovascular risk factors in young adults at a national level are less than ideal specifically for hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, and diabetes. Explore college students’ perception of their 30-year cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk using cluster analysis technique with internal validation. This is a descriptive and cross-sectional study. A total of 133 college students, aged 20–36 with no known history of CVD, were recruited and used to perform cluster analysis with internal validation. The mean age of the sample was 24.85 and predominately female (59.5%). The mean score for perception of cardiovascular risk factors was 21.20 ranging from 12 to 34 points on a Likert scale. The mean score for the 30-year CVD risk assessment was 5.23 ranging from 1 to 22%. Five clusters emerged from the cluster analysis. However, two of the clusters, the highest risk with moderate perception and low risk and lowest perception, were identified as areas for potential intervention as there were discrepancies between subjects’ perceived risk and their actual 30-year risk. The national data and literature has indicated a lack of awareness of CVD risk among this population which our study also concurred. Identifying the discrepancies between the perceived and projected CVD risk are useful for researchers and clinicians such as nurses to take the initiative to focus on and begin to intervene in this population to reduce potential adverse events of CVD.


Cluster analysis; Students; Cardiovascular risk; Perception


Community Health



UNLV article access

Search your library