DOI: 10.1161/circ.148.suppl_1.15069 ISSN: 0009-7322

Abstract 15069: Perceived Susceptibility to and Severity of Cardiovascular Disease is Associated With Intent to Change Behavior Among Women 25-55 Years Old

Lauren Rountree, Yoshimi Fukuoka, Kenji Sagae, Jingwen Zhang, Nancy A Pike, Mary-Lynn Brecht, Mary Rezk-Hanna, Holli A Devon
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

Background: Risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD) among young and middle-aged women have increased while knowledge and awareness of CVD remain low. To reverse these trends, it is important to assess whether knowledge and awareness of CVD are associated with intent to change behavior.

Aims: Describe the relationship between stage of behavior change and awareness, knowledge, and perceptions of CVD among women 25-55 years and identify the predictors of stage of behavior change.

Methods: A cross-sectional, descriptive study of women ages 25-55 living in the United States without a self-reported CVD history was conducted. Participants were recruited through flyers and social media campaigns. Awareness was measured with the question, “What is the leading cause of death for women in the United States?” Knowledge, perceptions, and stage of behavior change were measured with the Heart Disease Fact Questionnaire, Health Beliefs Related to CVD, and the Precaution Adoption Process Model surveys, respectively. All data were collected online via REDCap.

Results: A total of 149, primarily minority women, were included (mean=37.15±7.86 years). Over half (53.7%) of the sample had not decided to make changes in their behavior to reduce their likelihood of CVD. A binary logistic regression of stage of behavior change on awareness, knowledge, and perceptions of CVD showed that the perception subscales of susceptibility and severity were significantly associated with intent to change behavior (OR 1.247, p<0.001 and OR .809, p=.004 respectively). Awareness and knowledge of CVD were not associated with stage of behavior change. There were no significant sociodemographic and health condition predictors of stage of behavior change, although susceptibility and severity remained significant when controlling for these covariates (OR 1.242, p=.002 and OR=.801, p=.004, respectively).

Conclusions: Young and middle-aged women who believed that they were susceptible to CVD and did not perceive CVD as a serious condition were more likely to report an intent to change their behavior to reduce their risk of CVD. These may be key factors to leverage when educating young and middle-aged women on heart disease in order to facilitate heart healthy behaviors.

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