Many US Adults Unaware of Critical Cardiovascular Risk Factors

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A recent survey indicates many US adults are unaware of their vital health metrics, highlighting the need for increased education on heart disease prevention.

A new survey suggests US adults were more likely to know their childhood address and best friend’s birthday than they were to recognize their ideal blood pressure or body weight, with fewer than 1 in 5 being knowledgeable of their cholesterol or glucose levels.1

Coming on the heels of the American Heart Association’s annual heart disease and stroke statistics report, which found more than 50% of US adults failed to recognize cardiovascular disease as the leading cause of death in the US, results of the survey highlight the need for greater patient education to improve outcomes on a population level.1,2

“Recognizing heart disease risk factors early and adequately treating them can potentially prevent heart attacks, strokes and heart failure. As a society, we need to shift from sick care to preventative care so people can live their best and fullest lives possible,” said Laxmi Mehta, MD, director of Preventative Cardiology and Women’s Cardiovascular Health at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and Sarah Ross Soter Endowed Chair in Women’s Cardiovascular Health Research.1

Conducted on behalf of the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center by SSRS on its Opinion Panel Omnibus platform, which is a national, twice-per-month, probability-based survey. With all data weighted to represent the target population of US adults, data collection for the current study was conducted from December 15-17, 2023 and included data from 1010 respondents. Of these, 980 completed the survey online and 30 completed it over the phone.1

Upon analysis of survey results, investigators found just 15% knew their glucose level, 16% knew their cholesterol level, and 35% knew their blood pressure. In contrast, 56% knew their parent’s phone number, 58% knew their best friend’s birthday, and 68% knew their childhood address.1

“It’s also important to know your family’s health history and discuss it with your doctor. There could be risk factors that require medication or lifestyle changes and the earlier they’re known, the better. Sometimes people have heart attacks or strokes because their blood pressure or cholesterol levels are really high and they never had them checked,” Mehta said.1

To learn more about the study and how results can inform next steps for research and implementation efforts, we sat down with Mehta and that conversation is the subject of the video found below.

Mehta has no relevant disclosures to report.

References:

  1. Ohio State Medical Center. Survey finds most Americans don’t know the numbers that help predict heart disease. Ohio State Medical Center. February 8, 2024. Accessed February 8, 2024. https://wexnermedical.osu.edu/mediaroom/pressreleaselisting/heart-survey-mmr.
  2. Martin SS, Aday AW, Almarzooq ZI, et al. 2024 Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics: A Report of US and Global Data From the American Heart Association. Circulation. Published online January 24, 2024. doi:10.1161/CIR.0000000000001209
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