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Knowledge, attitude and practice regarding coronary cardiopathy. The Italian section of the HELP (Heart European Leaders Panel) study

Knowledge, attitude and practice regarding coronary cardiopathy. The Italian section of the HELP (Heart European Leaders Panel) study

Giornale Italiano di Cardiologia 27(11): 1125-1132

A population sample telephone survey was conducted in Italy among 1000 adults from the general public defined as non-high-risk subjects, 500 adults defined as high-risk subjects (based on the presence of too many unhealthy habits), 250 post-infarction patients and 250 relatives of patients. Questionnaires were aimed towards identifying knowledge, attitude and practice with regard to primary and secondary prevention of heart disease. In general, greater knowledge, attitude and practice were found among post-infarction patients and their families, followed by the general public and, lastly, by high-risk subjects. However, all groups believe that stress is the major cause of heart disease and that cancer is a major health problem and the primary cause of death in the country. No more than 25% of the general public and less than 10% of high-risk subjects have modified their habits over the past 2 years by taking care of diet and exercise and limiting smoking habits. All groups rely on and have confidence in the medical profession and medical organizations, including private foundations and associations dedicated to heart problems. The major source of information about heart disease is represented by the mass media, especially television, although post-infarction patients and their families receive most information from general practitioners and cardiologists. Overall, concepts on the existence of educational campaigns are limited and their fall-out is thought to have a minor impact. High-risk subjects are sufficiently informed but refuse to take any action to protect their health. The overall picture suggests that there is a need to continue with more penetrating information campaigns, mainly through television, and to look for new tools aimed towards identifying and treating high-risk individuals.

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Accession: 046508598

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PMID: 9463056

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