Background: The perception of cardiovascular risk factors is believed to be associated with a person's willingness to carry out lifestyle changes as well as their willingness to adhere to prescribed preventive medications. Little is known about whether these perceptions differ between statin users and those not using statins, including how these factors relate to health behaviours.
Purpose: The objective was to investigate and compare the perceptions of known modifiable risk factors for cardiovascular disease in patients using statins with those of a non-treated population. One further objective was to investigate if statin use was associated with favourable health behaviours.
Method: Data about health, perception of the importance of cardiovascular risk factors and health behaviours were collected through questionnaires from 829 statin users and 629 non-statin users. Beliefs about risk factors were compared in univariate analyses, and four health behaviours were compared in multivariate regression models.
Results: Statin users had better health behaviours in univariate analyses compared to non-statin users. Statin users rated lifestyle-related risk factors as more important contributors for the development of cardiovascular disease than non-statin users. In a multivariate model, statin use was associated with having better eating habits.
Conclusion: People using statins are more concerned about cardiovascular risk factors compared to non-statin users. The behaviour of taking statins seems to be associated with favourable eating habits.