Patient awareness of the risks for heart disease posed by air pollution

Prog Cardiovasc Dis. 2011 Mar-Apr;53(5):379-84. doi: 10.1016/j.pcad.2010.12.003.


Background: The purpose of this study was to assess patient awareness of the coronary heart disease (CHD) risks posed by air pollution.

Methods: We distributed a questionnaire to 500 patients at a University of Michigan cardiology clinic.

Results: More than half of patients (n = 264, 53%) did not believe that air pollution was "proven" or "likely" to cause CHD, whereas a similar percentage (n = 284, 57%) were not previously aware of its association with CHD. Most patients (n = 459, 92%) reported that a health care provider had not informed them of the potential CHD risks posed by air pollution nor discussed ways to lower their exposure (n = 471, 94%).

Conclusion: Patients were mostly unaware of the CHD risks posed by air pollution. These findings suggest that a serious knowledge gap exists among at-risk patients regarding this important CHD risk factor and support the need for educational efforts targeting patients and health care providers alike.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Ambulatory Care Facilities
  • Awareness*
  • Coronary Disease / etiology*
  • Coronary Disease / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Inhalation Exposure
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Michigan
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Particulate Matter / adverse effects*
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Public Health
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Particulate Matter