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The relationship between cardiovascular risk factors and knowledge of cardiovascular disease in African men in the North-West Province

Adele Burger, Ronel Pretorius, Carla M.T. Fourie, Aletta E. Schutte


Background: South Africa has an established high prevalence of cardiovascular disease (CVD), particularly amongst urban African communities. However, it was unknown whether African men's CVD knowledge was associated with their CV health profiles.

Objective: To investigate the possible relationships between CV risk factors and CVD knowledge in a group of African men.

Method: Questionnaires were completed by 118 African men from the North-West Province, South Africa, and health screening, including anthropometry, blood pressure, fasting blood sugar and cholesterol measurements, were done.

Results: The mean CVD knowledge score was 75%. Participants' mean BP was 146/92 mmHg, falling within hypertensive ranges. Their mean fasting blood glucose of 5.8 ± 2.0 mmol/L exceeded the normal cut-off value of 5.6 mmol/L. There was a lack of association between CV risk factors and CVD knowledge, except for a borderline significant association between triglycerides and CVD knowledge (r = 0.167; p = 0.071), implying that men with higher CVD knowledge had higher levels of triglycerides.

Conclusion: Despite African men's high CV risk and a relatively good understanding of CVD risk factors, there was no significant correlation between their CV risk factors and CVD knowledge.

Keywords: Cardiovascular disease, Cardiovascular risk factors, Knowledge, African
AJOL African Journals Online