For many young adults, the college years are filled with excitement, as students gain independence and establish new adult identities and behaviors. However, not all behaviors are healthy. Typical changes in college student behavior include a decrease in exercise and activity levelsand an increase in sitting or sedentary time. Other changes include changes in eating and sleeping patterns, increased stress, weight fluctuations as well tobacco, alcohol and drug use.

Without intervention, these typical college life behaviors have the potential to become cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors during college and further develop into CVD during adult years.

For my doctoral dissertation, I recently completed a study investigating heart disease risk factors in college students at Colorado State University (CSU). I found a total of 434 CVD risk factors among 180 students, and many of the students did not perceive themselves to be at risk.

Read more about the health of college students by Wendy DeYoung at The Conversation