Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design


Animal and Nutritional Sciences

Committee Chair

Melissa Ventura-Marra

Committee Co-Chair

Regan Bailey

Committee Member

Janet Tou


Background: Cardiovascular disease is prevalent in the United States and West Virginians have the highest rates of many CVD risk factors; however, limited research on the relationship between diet quality and risk factors exists in this high risk middle-aged (45-64 years old) population.;Objective: The objective of this study was to assess the diet quality of middle-aged West Virginians and to determine the associations between diet quality, body mass index, lifestyle factors, health-related quality of life and cardiovascular risk.;Design; Cross sectional study, convenience sample.;Participants/Setting: Data were collected from 96 participants aged 45-64 years old residing in North Central West Virginia. Data were obtained from a survey consisting of questions to assess demographic, physical activity, sleep, health-related quality of life, and CVD risk; an in-person data collection session in which anthropometric data, blood pressure and blood for clinical analysis were collected; and 3-day 24-hour diet recalls. The diet recalls were conducted within 2-3 weeks of the in-person collection session.;Main Outcome Measures: Diet quality, measured by the Healthy Eating Index-2010, and CVD risk (10-Year CVD Risk Calculator and the Life's Simple 7) were assessed. Additional variables that were included are: anthropometry, body composition, physical activity, sleep and health-related quality of life.;Statistical Analysis: Simple linear and multiple regression models were used to identify the relationships between main outcome measures after adjusting for confounding variables.;Results: Diet quality was not related to cardiovascular risk based on Life's Simple 7 scores or the 10-Year CVD Risk Calculator after adjusting for confounding factors. Women had higher diet quality scores and lower CVD risk scores than men. Additionally, older participants had better diet quality than younger participants.;Conclusion: Better understanding dietary intakes and risk factors of CVD can be used to develop dietary interventions that target increasing fruits and vegetables and reducing high-sodium foods to improve diet quality among middle-aged adults in WV.