To compare the cardiovascular health knowledge (CHK) of the adult Polish population in the years 2003-2005 and 2013-2014, and to evaluate the CHK determinants in the Polish adult population.
Data came from the two random samples of the Polish population, screened in 2003-2005 in the WOBASZ health survey (6392 men and 7153 women, aged 20-74 years) and in 2013-2014 in the WOBASZ II health survey (2751 men and 3418 women, aged 20+ years). For the present analysis, the population of WOBASZ II was limited to persons aged 20-74 years. A CHK score (CHKs) was constructed based on questionnaire answers of responders, and the results of physical examination and ranged from -1 (lowest knowledge) to +6 (highest knowledge).
Women had greater CHK than men. In both studies, about 30% of women and 40% of men did not know their blood pressure (BP). About 20% of men and women that declared their BP awareness was not able to classify it correctly to the normal or high category. Most persons that declared body weight awareness could give their body weight to within 2 kg and could correctly classify it as normal or overweight/obesity. The mean CHKs raised in men from 1.74 in WOBASZ to 1.93 in WOBASZ II (in women, respectively, from 2.10 to 2.23). The chance of having CHK greater than mean value of CHKs increased in men by 31% and in women by 27% in WOBASZ II compared to WOBASZ (ORCHK = 1.31, p < 0.0001 in men; ORCHK = 1.27, p < 0.0001 in women). Younger, better educated persons and men with coronary artery disease history and persons with familial history of death from myocardial infarction or stroke had greater health knowledge.
Since 2003 Polish adults significantly advanced their knowledge and awareness of cardiovascular risk factors. Gender, age, education level, coronary artery disease history, and family history of cardiovascular disease death are significant determinants of CHK. From 20% to 30% of studied persons who declared their awareness, were shown to be unaware of their own cardiovascular disease risk factors.