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Year : 2006  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 6-10

Evaluation of the Cardiovascular Fitness Level of Alcohol and Non-alcohol Consumers

Department of Physiotherapy, College of Medicine of the University of Lagos, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
D O Odebiyi
Physiotherapy Department, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, PMB 12003, Lagos
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Background: Studies have shown that there is a reasonably high incidence of alcohol consumption in developed and developing countries especially among undergraduates and young adults. This increase has been reported to be accompanied by a change in pattern of lifestyle of individuals towards physical inactivity. And as a result, alcohol consumption is increasingly becoming a risk factor in psychological and social problems and diseases of the cardiovascular system. Therefore, this study was designed to evaluate the cardiovascular fitness level of alcohol and non-alcohol consumers. Materials and Method: A total of four hundred subjects (400) participated in this study. All the subjects were made to fill a 20-items alcohol consumption questionnaire, and were assigned into groups: Group A (alcohol consumers) and Group B (non-alcohol consumers) according to their responses in the questionnaire. The subjects' resting heart rate and blood pressure were measured after which they were assessed using the Harvard step test. The heart rate was taken at one, two and three minutes after the Harvard test. Results: The results showed that there was no statistical significant difference (p>0.05) in the Harvard step test scores of alcohol consumers and non - alcohol consumers. While there was no statistical significant difference between the resting heart rate of alcohol consumers and non - alcohol consumers (p>0.05), there was a statistical significant difference between the resting blood pressure values of alcohol consumers and non-alcohol consumers (p<0.05). Heavy drinkers had slightly lower Harvard test scores and higher resting blood pressure values when compared with moderate alcohol consumers and non - consumers. Conclusion: Findings from this study suggest that alcohol consumption has had no effect on resting heart rate; however, heavy alcohol consumers had a higher blood pressure when compared with heavy and non alcohol consumers, thus alcohol consumption is suspected as a risk factor to developing cardiovascular diseases.

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