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Can J Cardiol. 2014 Jul;30(7):827-34. doi: 10.1016/j.cjca.2014.05.007. Epub 2014 May 13.

Perceived vs actual knowledge and risk of heart disease in women: findings from a Canadian survey on heart health awareness, attitudes, and lifestyle.

Author information

1
Division of Prevention and Rehabilitation, University of Ottawa Heart Institute, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Electronic address: lmcdonnell@ottawaheart.ca.
2
Division of Prevention and Rehabilitation, University of Ottawa Heart Institute, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Heart disease is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in men and women. Our understanding of heart disease stems chiefly from clinical trials on men, but key features of the disease differ in women. This article reports findings from the first Canadian national survey of women that focuses on knowledge, perceptions, and lifestyle related to heart health.

METHODS:

A cross-country survey using an adaptation of an instrument used in the United States was undertaken in spring of 2013. Based on online (208) and telephone (1446) responses from a randomly selected sample of women aged 25 or older, a total sample of 1654 weighted percentage estimates were produced. The overall response rate was 12.5%.

RESULTS:

Just under half of women were able to name smoking as a risk factor of heart disease, and less than one quarter named hypertension or high cholesterol. Fewer than half of women knew the major symptoms of heart disease. Most women prefer to receive information on heart health from their doctor, but only slightly more than half report that their doctor includes discussion of prevention and lifestyle during clinical consultations.

CONCLUSIONS:

Most women lack knowledge of heart disease symptoms and risk factors, and significant proportions are unaware of their own risk status. The findings underscore the opportunity for patient education and intervention regarding risk and prevention of heart disease.

PMID:
24970793
DOI:
10.1016/j.cjca.2014.05.007
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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