Honors Theses


Vascular Function and Sugar Sweetened Beverage Consumption in Hispanic and Non-Hispanic Males


Anne R. Crecelius


Health and Sport Science

Publication Date


Document Type

Honors Thesis


Sugar sweetened beverages (SSBs) account for a significant portion of daily caloric intake for many individuals, especially Hispanic males. Hispanic males also have one of the highest rates of obesity in the United States. Both factors, individually or combined, put Hispanic males at an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. The purpose of this study was to assess the differences between vascular function in the Hispanic male population and the non-Hispanic male population, as well as the cause for any differences. The diets of all the participants (11 Hispanic males and 11 non-Hispanic males from the Midwest) were evaluated specifically to identify SSB intake. Vascular function was determined by post-occlusion reactive hyperemia (RH) using venous occlusion plethysmography (VOP). Additionally, dietary, physical activity, and medical questionnaires were administered for each participant to identify other factors that could influence vascular function. No significant differences were found in peak forearm blood flow (FBF) between the age-matched pairs of Hispanic and non-Hispanic males (36.9 ± 8.5 vs 36.4 ± 12.2, respectively; p=0.9235). Peak forearm vascular conductance, which takes into account any potential differences in perfusion pressure, were also not different between Hispanic and non- Hispanics (34.7 ± 7.6 vs 34.9 ± 11.4 ; p=0.9571). The dietary and physical activity habits of these two groups did not differ significantly, and overall anthropometrics and medical histories were also similar between groups. Thus, we conclude that in this population, ethnicity alone has limited impact on vascular function, dietary, and physical activity behaviors. Rather, additional environmental and lifestyle factors play a more significant role in the determination of vascular function and ultimate cardiovascular disease risk than one’s ethnicity.

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Undergraduate research


Medicine and Health Sciences | Sports Sciences

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