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Knowledge of cardiovascular risk factors and awareness of non-pharmacological approach for risk prevention in young survivors of acute myocardial infarction. The cardiovascular risk prevention project "Help Your Heart Stay Young".

Nutrition, Metabolism, and Cardiovascular Diseases

Adult, Case-Control Studies, Comorbidity, Diabetes Complications, etiology, prevention & control, Educational Status, Female, Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice, Health Promotion, Humans, Hypercholesterolemia, complications, Italy, Life Style, Logistic Models, Male, Middle Aged, Myocardial Infarction, epidemiology, Obesity, Odds Ratio, Patient Education as Topic, Questionnaires, Risk Assessment, Risk Factors, Sex Factors, Stroke

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      Knowledge of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors in young patients who experienced myocardial infarction (MI) is poorly described. Knowledge of traditional CVD risk factors, non-fatal cardiovascular events and of non-pharmacological factors able to reduce CVD risk and education level were evaluated by questionnaires in subjects who visited their family doctors. Sixty-one participants with history of MI in age <50 years (MI+) were compared with 3749 subjects with age <50 years, from the same population source, but without history of MI (MI-). MI+ were more frequently men (p<0.01), did not have significantly higher prevalences of family history of CVD, diabetes and hypertension. MI+ individuals reported previous non-fatal stroke (13% vs. 0.5%, p<0.001), overweight, diabetes, and hypercholesterolemia (all p<0.001) more frequently than controls, whereas prevalence of arterial hypertension, smoking habit and physical inactivity did not differ between the two groups; MI+ and MI- individuals did not differ in terms of the proportion of those who were unaware of being hypertensive, diabetic or hypercholesterolemic. MI+ participants reported more frequently lower education level than controls (p<0.05). Knowledge of non-pharmacological approach for CVD risk reduction was similar in MI+ and MI-. In a logistic multivariate analysis, male gender (adjusted odds ratio=5.8) and high cholesterol level (adjusted odds ratio 2.8, both p<0.01) were independent correlates of MI+. CVD risk factors distribution was similar between participants with juvenile MI+ and MI in age >or=50 years (n=167) extracted from the same population source; however, stroke was reported more frequently in juvenile MI+ than in those who had MI at age >or=50 years/old (13% vs. 4%, p<0.01). Juvenile non-fatal MI was associated with metabolic CVD risk factors, with higher cerebrovascular co-morbidity and lower education level.

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