Awareness of cardiovascular disease associated risk factors among Saudis in Riyadh City

J Family Med Prim Care. 2020 Jun 30;9(6):3100-3105. doi: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_458_20. eCollection 2020 Jun.


Objective: The aim of this study was to estimate the awareness of Saudi population in Riyadh regarding cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) and their risk factors.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional study that used self-administered questionnaires conducted in universities, primary care centers, and electronic copies distributed in social media websites.

Results: Overall, 47.1% of the respondents had a good awareness of CVD and associated risk factors. However, awareness of the symptoms of stroke and heart attack was low. Pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis were the most commonly identified types of CVD, with 39.2% aware of these conditions. The most well-known symptom of heart attack was shortness of breath (known by 54.4% of the respondents). In relation to stroke, the most commonly recognized symptom was "sudden dizziness, trouble walking, or loss of balance" (45.4%). Respondents' awareness of CVD risk factors was moderate. The most common factors-identified by over two-thirds of participants-were unhealthy diet, smoking, dyslipidemia, and physical inactivity. Independent predictors of good CVD awareness were age 35-44 years, living in the north of Riyadh and following a healthy diet.

Conclusions: The awareness of CVD and associated risk factors is insufficient among Saudis in Riyadh City. This study emphasizes the necessity for effective education to increase the awareness about CVD in Saudi Arabia. High awareness may lead to early recognition of the risk factors and lead to early implementation of primary prevention which the cornerstone of family medicine practice.

Keywords: Awareness; Saudis; cardiovascular disease; heart attack; risk factors.