Knowledge and awareness on cardiovascular diseases among the Iraqi population

Taqi Mohammed Jwad Taher, Shaymaa Abdul Lateef Alfadhul, Ammar Shimal Shwekh, Firas Turki Rashed Sarray   
Wasit University, Wasit, Iraq
University of Kufa, Kufa, Iraq
Al-Zahraa Teaching Hospital, Wasit Health Directorate, Wasit, Iraq
Corresponding email: [email protected]

A B S T R A C T
This community-based, cross-sectional study was conducted to assess the knowledge on cardiovascular diseases among the Iraqi population. The sample was convenient and included all populations aged between 18-80 years old. Data were collected during the period from 1st to 15th of August using a structured questionnaire which was distributed to the participants via Facebook, Telegram, and WhatsApp. All data were entered into the computer software program SPSS version 26 for statistical analysis. Association between variables was assessed by Chi-square test and independent-sample t-test accordingly. The 974 respondents were with a mean age of 37 years. Females represented 71% of them. Around 18% had an overall poor knowledge, whereas 49% and 33 % had moderate and good knowledge respectively. More than two-thirds of respondents (69.8%) identified coronary heart disease as a type of CVDs. Chest pain or discomfort was distinguished as a symptom of heart attack by 84%. Sudden confusion or disturbed consciousness was recognized by 73% as warning symptoms of stroke, whereas severe headache of unknown cause was recognized by only 48%. Most of the participants (91.2%) knew that obesity is a risk factor for this disease, but only 55% identified diabetes as its cause. Overall knowledge related to CVDs is acceptable. Unsatisfactory awareness about types and warning symptoms of CVDs although of good awareness about risk factors. Important determinants of knowledge on CVDs are gender, educational level, residence, monthly income, body mass index, family history of CVDs, perception of lifestyle, and personal history of diabetes or hypertension. The researchers recommend further studies including different educational and socioeconomic classes.

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