Seth Byland

Date of Award

Spring 2022

Document Type

Open Access Thesis


Exercise Science

First Advisor

Abbie Lane-Cordova


Objective: The purpose of this study is to describe self-reported cardiovascular health (CVH) and health behaviors in women veterans (WV). A cardiovascular score will be adapted from the existing American Heart Association CVH score. This score will be used to describe CVH in WV.

Methods: Data was collected from WV using an anonymous online survey. This survey asked questions about CVH, CVH behavior, and military specific questions. CVH scoring was determined by asking 6 questions that scored individuals for a total score from 0 to 12, with 12 being most ideal for CVH health. Scores were tallied and mean scores of WV were calculated. Mean scores of enlisted WV were compared to officer WV. Mean WV scores were also compared based on deployment status by answering “yes” or “no”. Percentages of each health metrics was compared WV to non-women veterans (non-WV).

Results: Thirteen WV completed the survey (mean age=37.6ۭ.23 years of age; mean BMI=27.69۰.07 kg/m2 ). Two WV reported a hypertension diagnosis; 2 WV reported a diabetes diagnosis. WV had higher rates of diabetes, hypertension and obesity than nonWV aged 18-44 in South Carolina. WV were more physically active and consumed more fruits and vegetables on average than non-WV. Enlisted WV had a lower CVH score than that of officer WV.

Conclusion: WV remain the fastest growing group of individuals in the military. With heart disease remaining the main cause of death in women, Veteran Health Care providers and civilian health care professionals should pay close attention to their WV patient’s CVH to better serve them. Future research should attain a more detailed CVH score and gather objective data on blood pressure, cholesterol levels, blood glucose levels, and BMI.


© 2022, Seth Byland