African Journal for Physical Activity and Health Sciences

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Modifiable risk factors of coronary heart disease in male first time entrants to a health and fitness centre in South Africa

Marius F. Coetsee


The objective of the study was to draw up a profile of modifiable risk factors among male first time entrants to a health and fitness centre. Data for 257 males with mean age of 31 years were documented between 1999 and 2001. All assessments were done at the Empangeni Health and Fitness Centre. The following parameters were recorded: personal details, health status, smoking habits, mass, height, body composition, blood pressure, total cholesterol, physical working capacity and predicted aerobic capacity. The majority of subjects (50.9 %) displayed two or more, 27.3 % three or more and 8.2 % four or more, risk factors for coronary heart disease (CHD). Of the 253 subjects tested 43.2 % were inactive before they joined the health and fitness centre. Smoking ³ 10 cigarettes per day was prevalent in 19.2 % of subjects. At risk due to obesity (body fat >20 %) was prevalent in 45.9 % of subjects and 36.2 % had a BMI of >27.8 kg.m-2. Elevated cholesterol (>5.2 mmol.l-1) was found in 51.1 % of the subjects. Hypertension (systolic >140 mmHg and/or diastolic >90 mmHg) were prevalent in 16.1 % of subjects. It is clear that much room for improvement in the modifiable risk factors exists in the subjects. The findings have important implications for health and fitness providers in planning preventive strategies.

Key words: Modifiable CHD risk factors, exercise, health and finess, males.

(Af. J. Physical, Health Education, Recreation and Dance: 2002 8(1): 26-36)

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