Education and risk factors for coronary heart disease: results from a New England community

Am J Prev Med. 1993 Nov-Dec;9(6):365-71.


This article investigates the association of education with the estimated coronary heart disease (CHD) risk and the prevalence of CHD risk factors for men and women in a New England community over a period of 10 years. Educational differentials in knowledge of cardiovascular disease prevention, body mass index (BMI), total and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, cigarette smoking, and hypertension were examined for 3,765 respondents 25-64 years of age from five surveys of the Pawtucket Heart Health Program. We found a clear negative association between education and composite CHD risk. A stable separation in risk level was maintained across time between the least educated (< 12 years of education) and the other two educational groups (12, > or = 13 years of education) in both men and women. Educational differentials were observed in BMI and total and HDL cholesterol of the women 25-44 years of age. For men and women 25-44 years of age, smoking was negatively associated with education. Hypertension differed by education level among the women 45-64 years of age. These findings are highly comparable with the national data from aggregate vital statistics and the results of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) cohort follow-up.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Coronary Disease / epidemiology*
  • Coronary Disease / prevention & control
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Rhode Island / epidemiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Risk-Taking
  • Smoking Prevention