Using an Innovative Approach to Examining Cardiovascular Health

Liu, Xiaoyue, Nursing - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Logan, Jeongok, NR-Nursing: Faculty, University of Virginia

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a serious problem affecting a wide range of populations in the U.S. This dissertation focused on cardiovascular risks in two vulnerable yet understudied populations: women with a history of intimate partner violence (IPV) and Chinese Americans. First, an integrative review of 19 articles was conducted to examine the relationship between IPV and CVD. The overall findings suggested that IPV as a stressor could put women at high risk for CVD development. To reduce cardiovascular complications in this group, it is essential for healthcare providers to routinely screen IPV status in clinical practice and to initiate targeted interventions. Next, a cross-sectional study was carried out to assess four non-traditional CVD risk factors (sleep, physical activity, psychological stress, and fatigue) and subclinical cardiovascular markers (arterial stiffness and blood pressure variability) in a middle-aged cohort consisting of 41 Chinese Americans and 46 non-Hispanic whites. The study results showed that: 1) Chinese Americans exhibited poorer objective sleep outcomes, lower physical activity, higher psychological stress, and higher fatigue in comparison to whites; 2) both Asian race and poor perceived sleep quality independently predicted high psychological stress and fatigue; 3) low sleep quality not only had a direct relationship with high arterial stiffness and increased blood pressure variability but also moderated the relationship between these two subclinical cardiovascular markers. This cross-sectional study suggests that healthcare providers can improve cardiovascular outcomes in minority groups by implementing culturally sensitive interventions to promote their physical activity and sleep outcomes.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
Intimate partner violence, Minority health, Cardiovascular health, Sleep, Arterial stiffness, Blood pressure variability
Sponsoring Agency:
American Nurses FoundationPreventive Cardiovascular Nurses AssociationUniversity of Virginia
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