Cardiovascular Risk Factor and Disease Measures from the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Jul 20;18(14):7692. doi: 10.3390/ijerph18147692.


Background: Cardiovascular disease is a key health condition associated with tobacco use; however, clinical measures are not typically possible in population-based studies. In this paper, we assess the reliability and validity of self-reported cardiovascular risk factors and diseases in a large nationally representative study of tobacco use and health outcomes.

Methods: This paper analyzes self-reported cardiovascular risk factors and disease among adults age 40 years and older based on U.S. nationally representative data from the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study. Prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors (self-reported high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and family history of premature heart disease, BMI ≥ 35, and tobacco use) and cardiovascular disease (self-reported heart attack, stroke and/or congestive heart failure (CHF)) were considered along with ratings of physical functioning, fatigue, and general health.

Results: Self-reported cardiovascular disease was found to be associated with functional health measures (walking up a flight of stairs) and general ratings of health. Prospective analyses found strong correlations between sequential data collection waves for history of hypertension, elevated cholesterol and CHF, while more modest correlations were noted for stroke and heart attack. The overall prevalence of cardiovascular disease and hypertension was comparable to those from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).

Conclusions: These analyses suggest reliability and concurrent validity regarding self-reported cardiovascular risk factors and disease assessed in the PATH Study.

Keywords: cardiovascular outcomes; health behavior; survey methods; validity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / epidemiology
  • Heart Disease Risk Factors
  • Humans
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Risk Factors
  • Tobacco
  • United States / epidemiology