Kayla Brown1, Qiana Bryan2, Alex McGowan2, Patricia Pagan Lassalle2, Lee Stoner, FACSM2. 1North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Greensboro, NC. 2University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC.

BACKGROUND: African Americans (AA) have the highest rate of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in the US, with 47% of AA experiencing CVD. Yet, the disproportionate burden of risk in AA is not fully understood. One potential explanatory factor for the increased CVD risk in AA could be greater perceived discrimination and perceived stress. Cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) is an ideal measure of overall health and a predictor of CVD risk. Measured as maximal oxygen consumptions (VO2max), CRF is the capacity of the circulatory and respiratory systems to provide oxygen to skeletal muscle mitochondria for energy synthesis during physical activity. Low CRF is a well-established independent risk factor of CVD mortality, and AAs have been shown to have lower CRF than non-Hispanic White individuals. Further, most of this research has focused on older adults, highlighting a gap in knowledge for young adults. Consequently, the purpose of this study will be to investigate the association between perceived discrimination, perceived stress, and CRF in young adults. METHODS: In Fall 2021, male and female young adults (aged 18-35 years, n=100) associated with medium to large universities (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Duke University and North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University) who wear a smart watch capable of measuring VO2max (including Apple Watch [version 3 or greater], Polar watch, or Garmin watch) will be recruited. Using an online questionnaire, participants will be asked to self-report their VO2max (as a measure of CRF), demographic information, perceived levels of discrimination using the Lifetime Discrimination Scale (α=0.78), and perceived stress Global Perceived Stress Scale (α=0.78), respectively. The associations between perceived discrimination, stress, and VO2max will be determined using multivariable linear regression. ANTICIPATED RESULTS: We hypothesize that students who experience more perceived discrimination and greater perceived stress will have lower VO2max. Investigating perceived discrimination, stress and CRF will inform our understanding of CVD risk development in young adults. This information can be used to design proactive interventions for young adults at greater CVD risk. Future steps will assess the bi-directionality of the association between perceived discrimination, stress, and CRF.

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