Knowledge about arterial hypertension in the Polish population: the WOBASZ study.Kardiol Pol. 2012; 70(2):140-6.KP
Insufficient knowledge on cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors and unawareness of CVD and their complications limit effectiveness of CVD prevention. Thus, monitoring knowledge regarding health issues is necessary in order to prepare prevention projects.
To evaluate knowledge on hypertension (HT) in relation to gender, age, education level, personal HT status, and a family history of death due to CVD.
A representative sample of the Polish population including 6977 men and 7792 women aged 20-74 years was studied in the WOBASZ study in 2003-2005. Data were collected using a questionnaire. We analysed how many respondents knew their blood pressure (BP) and classified it correctly, knew the upper limit of normal BP values (BPlim), and complications of untreated HT. Statistical analysis was performed using the χ(2) test.
Overall, 51% of men and 56% of women reported they knew BPlim (p 〈 0.0001), but about 50% of them identified it within the normotensive range, 40% reported it at the level corresponding to stage I HT, and 8% of men and 6% of women even reported it as 〉 160/100 mm Hg. Fifty-nine percent of men and 69% women (p 〈 0.0001) reported being aware of their own BP, but only 72% of these men and 80% of these women classified it correctly. The most often mentioned HT complications were stroke (58% men and 69% women, p 〈 0.01) and myocardial infarction (60% and 65%, respectively, p 〈 0.01), and 32% of men and 23% of women did not know any complications of HT (p 〈 0.01). Older, more educated persons and those with HT or family history of death to CVD had greater knowledge on HT.
Knowledge concerning HT is still insufficient in the Polish population, with women being more knowledgeable than men. Age, education level, HT status, and a family history of death due to CVD were significant independent predictors of knowledge level.