BACKGROUND: Obesity is an important biological risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD).
AIMS: The main aim of this study was to answer the question whether obese individuals differ from individuals with normal weight with regard to knowledge about risk factors for CVD. A further aim was to replicate previous findings that obese individuals are at higher risk of developing other biological risk factors for CVD.
METHOD: Normal weights, BMI<25 kg/m(2) (n=385), and obese, BMI> or =30 kg/m(2) (n=159), individuals were identified from a screening program conducted among 50-year-old inhabitants of the County of Västmanland, Sweden. Participants answered questions regarding their gender, level of education, and items relating to knowledge about cardiovascular risk factors. Total cholesterol and blood glucose levels, height, weight and blood pressure were measured.
RESULTS: Obese individuals did not differ significantly from individuals with a normal weight regarding knowledge of cardiovascular risk factors when education was controlled for. Obesity and low level of education are associated with other risk factors for CVD such as high blood pressure and high serum cholesterol.
CONCLUSION: Obese individuals are at an increased risk of developing other risk factors for CVD but are just as knowledgeable about risk factors for CVD as normal weighting individuals.
2006. Vol. 5, no 4