Assessing the awareness of Czechs, age 40+, on the link between lifestyle choices and risk factors for cardiovascular diseases.

  Vol. 39 (5) 2018 Neuro endocrinology letters Journal Article   2018; 39(5): 401-408 PubMed PMID:  30664346    Citation

OBJECTIVES: Cardiovascular diseases constitute the main cause of disability and premature death worldwide. Those diseases will continue to endanger health unless the public understands clearly and completely which risk factors contribute to the development of these diseases and what they can do to avoid these risks. This article assesses the understanding of risk factors that can lead to the development of heart and vessel diseases. METHODS: A non-standardized questionnaire was used for data collection. The respondents expressed their opinions on influenceable factors using a five-degree Likert scale. The research set included 1,992 respondents. Data were statistically analyzed using the SASD program, version 1.4.12. To calculate the level of dependence of the selected characteristics, the Wallis, and Spearman correlation coefficients were calculated. The goodness-of-fit χ2 was applied as well. RESULTS: The results show that 66.8% of respondents go walking for at least 30 minutes on 5 or more days per week. Respondents from lower age groups reported significantly more (p < 0.001) walking. The comparison of mean values showed that Czech citizens aged 40 or more years express the highest agreement with the statement that they could prevent heart and vessel diseases by modifying their eating habits. The results further showed that 25.8% of Czech citizens smoked and that men smoked significantly more (29.6%) than women (22.5%). More than one-half (60.1%) reported drinking alcohol occasionally; the remaining respondents reported drinking alcohol 3-4 times a month or more often. Men reported drinking beer significantly more often (p < 0.001) than women, while women reported drinking wine significantly more often (p < 0.001) than men. CONCLUSIONS: Respondents aged 40 or more years were aware of some, but not all, of the risk factors that can influence the development of cardiovascular diseases. They accepted that they could prevent heart and vessel diseases by modifying their eating habits, however, their opinions regarding exercise differed from professional recommendations. Two-thirds of the respondents stated that smoking could also influence heart and vessel diseases. The study suggests that primary care providers need to put more effort into educating their patients regarding steps that can be to influence their own health.

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