Background Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is posing a major public health challenge globally. Evidence reports significant gaps in knowledge of cardiovascular risk factors among patients with CVD. Despite the growing burden of cardiovascular disease in developing countries, there is limited data available to improve the awareness of this area, which is crucial for the implementation of prevention programs. Methods A cross-sectional survey was conducted in two referral hospitals in Eastern Ethiopia from June-September 2018. Outpatients with a confirmed diagnosis cardiovascular conditions were eligible for participation in the study. A convenience sampling technique was used. The primary outcome of the study was knowledge of cardiovascular risk factors among patients with cardiovascular disease. The knowledge of cardiovascular disease risk factors was measured using a validated instrument (heart disease fact questionnaire). A score less than 70% was defined as suboptimal knowledge. Multivariable linear regression was used to examine the relationship between knowledge of cardiovascular risk factors and explanatory variables. Results A total of 287 patients were enrolled in the study. Mean age was 47±11yrs and 56.4% of patients were females. More than half of patients (54%) had good knowledge on cardiovascular risk factors (scored>70%), whilst 46% demonstrated suboptimal knowledge levels in this area. Urban residency was associated with higher cardiovascular risk factors knowledge scores, whereas, never married and no formal education or lower education were identified as predictors of lower knowledge scores. There was no statistically significant association between knowledge of cardiovascular risk factors and actual cumulative risk behaviour. Conclusion Almost half of CVD patients in Ethiopia have suboptimal knowledge regarding cardiovascular risk factors. Residence, education level and marital status were associated with knowledge of cardiovascular risk factors. Implementation of innovative interventions and structured, nurse-led lifestyle counselling would be required to effectively guide patients in developing lifestyle modification and achieve sustainable behaviour change.
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- Cardiovascular disease (CVD)
- Risk Factors
- public awareness