Volume 2: No. 2, April 2005
ORIGINAL RESEARCH: FEATURED
ABSTRACT FROM THE 19TH NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON CHRONIC DISEASE
PREVENTION AND CONTROL
Awareness of Cardiovascular Disease Risk in American
Carrie Oser, Lynda Blades, Carol Strasheim, Steven Helgerson, Dorothy Gohdes, Todd
Suggested citation for this article: Oser C, Blades L,
Strasheim C, Helgerson S, Gohdes D, Harwell T. Awareness of
cardiovascular disease risk in American Indians [abstract].
Prev Chronic Dis [serial online] 2005 Apr [date
cited]. Available from: URL: http://www.cdc.gov/pcd/issues/2005/
Track: Methods and Surveillance
Although cardiovascular disease (CVD) has become the leading
cause of death in American Indians, little is known about how
Indian communities perceive their risk.
In 2003, a telephone survey was conducted among adult American
Indians living on or near Montana’s seven Indian
reservations. Respondents were asked about awareness of heart
disease risk; history of cardiovascular disease (CVD) such as
heart attack, angina, or stroke; and risk factors for
The prevalence of CVD and risk factors among men and women
aged 45 years and older (N = 516) was high: CVD (26% in men and
15% in women), diabetes (24% in men and
26% in women), high blood pressure (48% in men and 46% in women),
high cholesterol (34% in men and 40% in women), smoking (28% in
men and 33% in women), and obesity (37% in men and 46% in women).
Men with a history of certain medical conditions were more likely
to be aware of their risk for heart disease than men without
these conditions: CVD (87% with vs 46% without), high blood pressure (70% with vs
44% without), high cholesterol (71% with vs 53% without), and obesity (67% with
vs 52% without).
The same was true of women: CVD (98% with vs 58%
without), diabetes (74% with vs 60% without), high blood pressure (73% with vs 56%
high cholesterol (72% with vs 60% without), and obesity (74% with vs 55% without). Neither
men nor women associated smoking with their own risk for heart
The prevalence of CVD risk factors was alarmingly high in this
population. Awareness of risk for heart disease was associated
with most modifiable CVD risk factors, except smoking.
Corresponding Author: Carrie S Oser, MPH,
Cardiovascular Disease/Diabetes Epidemiologist, Montana
Department of Public Health and Human Services, 1400 Broadway,
Cogswell Building, PO Box 202951, Helena, MT 59620-2951.
Telephone: 406-444-4002. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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