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African American, cardiovascular, pedometers, women



  1. Crane, Patricia B. PhD, RN, FAHA
  2. Wallace, Debra C. PhD, RN


Cardiovascular disease rates are higher in African American women and they have more cardiovascular risk factors than other groups. Although one of the most important cardiovascular risk reduction behaviors is physical activity, few studies have focused on African American women's cardiovascular risk and physical activity. Therefore, the aims of this descriptive pilot study were to describe modifiable cardiovascular risks and to explore physical activity, as measured by pedometer steps, in younger (n = 22; aged 21-45 years) and older (n = 22; aged 46-75 years) community-dwelling African American women. The total number of pedometer steps recorded in 3 days ranged from 1,153 to 52,742. Day 1 steps were significantly different than day 2 and day 3 steps across the sample (F = 5.30, df = 1, P < .05). Risk factors were similar across the age groups. There was no relationship between the 3-day total or average number of daily steps and cardiovascular risks. Thus, interventions may be used in both age groups, with modifications for cohort effects of approach and health status. Given the disparities in cardiovascular disease and the Healthy People 2010 national health objectives, it is important to continue a variety of efforts to assist adult women of all ages to increase their physical activity and to decrease other CVD risks.