Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Awareness of risk factors for cancer: a comparative study of Sweden and Denmark
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Nursing.
Show others and affiliations
2015 (English)In: BMC Public Health, ISSN 1471-2458, E-ISSN 1471-2458, Vol. 15, no 1, 1156Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND: Sweden and Denmark are neighbouring countries with similarities in culture, healthcare, and economics, yet notable differences in cancer statistics. A crucial component of primary prevention is high awareness of risk factors in the general public. We aimed to determine and compare awareness of risk factors for cancer between a Danish and a Swedish population sample, and to examine whether there are differences in awareness across age groups.

METHODS: Data derive from Module 2 of the International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership. Telephone interviews were conducted with 3000 adults in Denmark and 3070 in Sweden using the Awareness and Beliefs about Cancer measure. Data reported here relate to awareness of 13 prompted risk factors for cancer. Prevalence ratios with 95 % confidence intervals were calculated to examine associations between country, age, and awareness of risk factors.

RESULTS: Over 90 % of respondents in both countries recognized smoking, use of sunbeds and ionizing radiation as risk factors for cancer. Lowest awareness (<50 %) was found for HPV-infection, low fruit and vegetable intake and alcohol intake. Swedish respondents reported higher awareness than Danish respondents for ten of the 13 risk factors studied. Respondents from Denmark reported higher awareness only regarding low fruit and vegetable intake and use of sunbeds. Low physical activity was the only risk factor for which there was no difference in awareness between the countries. A decline in awareness was generally seen with increasing age in both countries, but deviating patterns were seen for alcohol intake, red/processed meat, obesity and age 70+.

CONCLUSIONS: This study supports findings from other European studies that generally demonstrate modest public awareness of many established cancer risk factors. Efforts should be made to improve awareness of the cancer risk factors HPV-infection, low fruit and vegetable intake and alcohol intake, which showed particularly low awareness in both countries. Previous studies indicate that repeated, broad campaigns are successful, and suggest that a multimedia approach is used.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 15, no 1, 1156
Keyword [en]
Risk factors, Cancer, Awareness, Denmark, Sweden
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-112068DOI: 10.1186/s12889-015-2512-9ISI: 000365311300002PubMedID: 26596679OAI: diva2:875529
Available from: 2015-12-01 Created: 2015-12-01 Last updated: 2015-12-18Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

fulltext(1479 kB)24 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT01.pdfFile size 1479 kBChecksum SHA-512
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

Other links

Publisher's full textPubMed

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Hajdarevic, Senada
By organisation
Department of Nursing
In the same journal
BMC Public Health

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 24 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Altmetric score

Total: 59 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link