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Womens Health (Lond Engl). 2010 Jan;6(1):37-50. doi: 10.2217/whe.09.78.

Statewide awareness study on personal risks of cardiovascular disease in women: a go red North Dakota study.

Author information

  • 1Health, Nutrition & Exercise Sciences, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND P40RR003640, USA. arupendra.mozumdar@ndsu.edu


General awareness of cardiovascular disease (CVD) as the leading cause of death for women and knowledge of CVD risk factors have increased in the last 10 years. Whether this greater general awareness and knowledge leads to improved risk assessment on a personal level remains uncertain. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to measure the knowledge of CVD risk factors and determine the level of personal CVD risk-factor awareness among female public employees of North Dakota, ND, USA. A 30-item, pretested, standardized questionnaire was adapted from previous American Heart Association (AHA) nationwide surveys to measure awareness of the AHA's Go Red For Women movement and cardiovascular health. The online survey was completed by 1044 women, with most of the participants ( approximately 90%) reported as being aware that heart disease was the leading cause of death for women in the USA, which is much higher than the national average. Nearly all the participants (97.3%) correctly recognized the Go Red 'Red Dress' symbol, and knew that it relates to women and heart disease. The prevalence of individual CVD risk awareness was high for blood pressure (82.2%) and moderately high for cholesterol (67%). Much lower rates of CVD awareness were reported for blood glucose (40.8%) and BMI (29.4%). Along with age and certain socioeconomic factors, awareness of any one CVD risk factor was strongly associated with awareness of other CVD risk factors. It is worth mentioning that the participants with favorable demographics and background characteristics and with a high general awareness may also have low personal awareness of certain CVD risk factors. This low personal awareness lessens one's perceived susceptibility to CVD, which in turn reduces the likelihood of adopting preventive action to decrease personal risk of CVD. Future awareness programs should concentrate on improving individual risk awareness, particularly of blood glucose and BMI, as a means of improving behavior towards better cardiovascular health.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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