Evaluation of the level of knowledge of selected cardiovascular risk factors among adolescents attending secondary schools in Warsaw

Alfred Owoc 1,  
Iwona Bojar 3,  
Z Lubuskiej Wyższej Szkoły Zdrowia Publicznego w Zielonej Górze
Z Departamentu Organizacji Ochrony Zdrowia Ministerstwa Zdrowia
Z Krajowego Obserwatorium Zdrowia i Bezpieczeństwa Pracowników Rolnictwa Instytut Medycyny Wsi im. W. Chodźki w Lublinie
Z Zentiva PL Spółka z o.o.
MONZ 2010;16(4):581–594
Objective: Numerous data from literature show that the most efficient method of control of the epidemic of cardiovascular diseases is control of the risk factors within the primary prevention, as well as health-promoting life style. The objective of the study was to investigate the level of knowledge concerning risk factors of cardiovascular diseases among adolescents attending secondary schools in Warsaw, with consideration of gender, type of school, smoking and consequences of alcohol consumption, as well as recommended food products. Material and methods: Pilot study was conducted during the period April - May 2009 in group of 150 school adolescents (68 girls and 82 boys) aged 16-19, attending secondary schools in Warsaw. The survey consisted of a number of items pertaining to cardiovascular diseases, in order to investigate the adolescents’ knowledge in this area. The results of the study were analyzed with the use of the Statistical Analysis System (SAS). Results: The study confirmed the high level of respondents’ knowledge concerning an adequate nutrition. The adolescents mentioned such products as dark bread and fish, as well as vegetables and fruits. The most frequently reported cardiovascular risk factors were smoking, stress, drugs, obesity, low sport and physical activity, low blood pressure, alcohol, abuse of sugar and sweets. Over 52% of boys and 38.24% of girls could not provide an answer to the question pertaining to the effect of smoking on the cardiovascular system. Approximately 40% of boys were not able to indicate the consequences of alcohol consumption. Nearly 54.88 % of boys and 20.59 % of girls admitted the lack of knowledge of the influence of active rest on the cardiovascular system. Conclusions: The secondary school adolescents examined possessed a satisfactory level of knowledge concerning basic risk factors of cardiovascular diseases, and the principles of adequate nutrition. The advantage of the investigations undertaken is that they allowed the recognition of the actual level of knowledge among school adolescents and the indication of educational shortcomings in the field of health promotion.