Title : Low subjective cardiovascular disease risk perceptions among hypertensive patients in addis ababa, Ethiopia
Background: Accurate cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk appraisal is essential for hypertensive patients to identify correctly their risk status and take efficient behavioral measures timely to avoid major adverse outcomes. However, hypertensive patients’ risk perceptions of CVD events in Ethiopia are unknown. Thus, the study aimed to compare the subjective CVD risk perception level of patients with the nonlaboratory Framingham Risk Score (nl-FRS).
Methods: A cross-sectional design was used. The Attitudes and Beliefs about Cardiovascular Disease Risk Questionnaire and the nl-FRS were used to compare subjective versus objective measures of CVD risk. Agreement between participants’ risk perceptions and the nl-FRS were examined using the kappa statistic. Bivariate chi-square test and multinomial logistic regression analyses were run to identify factors associated with risk perceptions. The statistical significance was set at a p-value < 0.05 level.
Results: Participants (n=377) had a mean age of 53.61 ± 12.80-years, range (18-82 years), 51.2% were males, 42.7% had less than high school education, 45.1% achieved target BP control, and mean HTN duration was 8.01 ± 6.07 years. The majority (58.62%) of the participants had a low subjective risk perception of CVD events (mean 17.79, 95% CI: 17.43 – 18.15). Approximately three-fourths (72.4%) had a moderate nl-FRS risk calculation (mean, 13.84, 95% CI: 13.36 - 14.33). Agreement between participants perceived-risk and the nl-FRS was poor (kappa = 0.0002, standard error = 0.023, p =0.99). Participants’ CVD risk-perception inaccuracy was also high (76%) primarily due to underestimation. Hypertension duration, frequency of physician visits, and level of diabetes control were significant predictors of CVD risk underestimation.
Conclusion: Hypertensive patients had inaccurate and low subjective risk perceptions of CVD events compared to moderate objective risks identified using the nl-FRS. Planned education on HTN and CVD risk factors is essential to improve patients’ CVD risk perception to reduce adverse CVD events.