Cardiovascular risk estimation by professionally active cardiovascular nurses: results from the Basel 2005 Nurses Cohort

Eur J Cardiovasc Nurs. 2006 Dec;5(4):258-63. doi: 10.1016/j.ejcnurse.2006.06.007. Epub 2006 Aug 14.


Background: Nurses play a key role in the prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and one would, therefore, expect them to have a heightened awareness of the need for systematic screening and their own CVD risk profile. The aim of this study was to examine personal awareness of CVD risk among a cohort of cardiovascular nurses attending a European conference.

Methods: Of the 340 delegates attending the 5th annual Spring Meeting on Cardiovascular Nursing (Basel, Switzerland, 2005), 287 (83%) completed a self-report questionnaire to assess their own risk factors for CVD. Delegates were also asked to give an estimation of their absolute total risk of experiencing a fatal CVD event in the next 10 years. Level of agreement between self-reported CVD risk estimation and their actual risk according to the SCORE risk assessment system was compared by calculating weighted Kappa (kappa(w)).

Results: Overall, 109 responders (38%) self-reported having either pre-existing CVD (only 2%), one or more markedly raised CVD risk factors, a high total risk of fatal CVD (> or =5% in 10 years) or a strong family history of CVD. About half of this cohort (53%) did not know their own total cholesterol level. Less than half (45%) reported having a 10-year risk of fatal CVD of <1%, while 13% reported having a risk > or =5%. Based on the SCORE risk function, the estimated 10-year risk of a fatal CVD event was <1% for 96% of responders: only 2% had a > or =5% risk of such an event. Overall, less than half (46%) of this cohort's self-reported CVD risk corresponded with that calculated using the SCORE risk function (kappa(w)=0.27).

Conclusion: Most cardiovascular nurses attending a European conference in 2005 poorly understood their own CVD risk profile, and the agreement between their self-reported 10-year risk of a fatal CVD and their CVD risk using SCORE was only fair. Given the specialist nature of this conference, our findings clearly demonstrate a need to improve overall nursing awareness of the role and importance of systematic CVD risk assessment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Clinical Competence
  • Diabetes Complications / complications
  • Europe
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Humans
  • Hypercholesterolemia / complications
  • Hypertension / complications
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / organization & administration
  • Middle Aged
  • Nurse's Role
  • Nursing Assessment / organization & administration
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Nursing Staff* / education
  • Nursing Staff* / psychology
  • Risk Assessment / organization & administration*
  • Self-Assessment*
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Surveys and Questionnaires