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Eur J Cardiovasc Prev Rehabil. 2010 Oct;17(5):519-23. doi: 10.1097/HJR.0b013e328337ccd3.

Evaluation of a cardiovascular disease risk assessment tool for the promotion of healthier lifestyles.

Author information

1
Unilever Discover, Colworth House, Sharnbrook, Bedfordshire, UK. natasha.soureti@unilever.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Although percentage risk formats are commonly used to convey cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk, people find it difficult to understand these representations.

AIMS:

To compare the impact of providing a CVD risk message in either a traditional format (% risk) or using an analogy of risk (Heart-Age) on participants' risk perceptions and intention to make lifestyle changes.

METHODS:

Four hundred and thirteen men and women were randomly allocated to one of two conditions; CVD risk as a percentage or as a Heart-Age score (a cardiovascular risk adjusted age).

RESULTS:

There was a graded relationship between perceived and actual CVD risk only in those participants receiving a Heart-Age message (P<0.05). Heart-Age was more emotionally impactful in younger individuals at higher actual CVD risk (P<0.01). Self-reported emotional reactions further mediated the relationship between risk perception and intention to make lifestyle changes.

CONCLUSION:

This study found that the Heart-Age message significantly differed from percentage CVD risk score in risk perceptions and was more emotionally impactful in those participants at higher actual CVD risk levels.

PMID:
20195154
DOI:
10.1097/HJR.0b013e328337ccd3
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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