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Perception of cardiovascular risk and comparison with actual cardiovascular risk.
European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation
BACKGROUND: Current guidelines recommend treating patients according to their absolute cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. We examined perception of CVD risk among adults and how it can be compared with actual CVD risk. METHODS: The perception of CVD risk was assessed by two questions asking about participants' 'risk to get a heart attack or a stroke over the next 10 years' using semiquantitative and quantitative answers in a population-based survey of 816 individuals aged 40-64 years in the Seychelles (African region). Actual CVD risk was calculated using a standard risk prediction score and 24% of adults aged 40-64 years had elevated risk. RESULTS: Only 59% of individuals could give an estimate of perceived CVD risk based on the semiquantitative question and 31% based on the quantitative question. Reporting a perceived CVD risk was strongly associated with high socio-economic status (SES; odds ratio = 9). Among individuals who reported a perceived CVD risk, 48% overestimated their perceived risk versus their actual risk. Reporting a high perceived CVD risk was associated with treatment for CVD risk factors, older age, low SES, and overweight. Reporting a low perceived CVD risk was associated with male sex, younger age, education, normal BMI, and leisure time exercise. CONCLUSION: Only half of the individuals could provide an estimate of their perceived CVD risk, and this perception was strongly associated with SES. Individuals under treatment perceived higher CVD risk than nontreated individuals. Further studies should determine how risk-related information can be better conveyed to individuals as a means to improve adherence to healthy lifestyles and/or treatment.
Cardiovascular Diseases, Prevention, Risk Perception, Risk Score, Coronary-Heart-Disease, Randomized-Trial, General-Practice, Life-Style, Hypertension, Prevalence, Seychelles, Knowledge, Women, Association
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