Patients' perceived lifetime risk for CVD often inaccurate

June 24, 2014
Patients' perceived lifetime risk for CVD often inaccurate

(HealthDay)—Patients' frequently have a misperception of lifetime risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD), according to a study published in the July issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.

Elisabeth Joye Petr, M.D., from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, and colleagues examined the perception of lifetime CVD risk in 2,998 participants from the Dallas Heart Study. The for developing CVD was classified as high (≥39 percent) versus low (<39 percent) according to risk factor burden detailed in a previously published algorithm. A five-point scale was used to assess perception of lifetime risk for myocardial infarction.

The researchers found that 64.8 percent of participants were classified as having high predicted lifetime CVD risk. Family history of premature myocardial infarction, high self-reported stress, and low perceived health all correlated strongly with high perceived lifetime risk (odds ratios, 2.37, 2.17, and 2.71, respectively), after multivariate adjustment. A more modest association was observed for traditional CVD risk factors and high perceived lifetime risk.

"Misperception of lifetime risk for CVD is common and frequently reflects the influence of factors other than traditional risk factor levels," the authors write. "These findings highlight the importance of effectively communicating the significance of traditional risk factors in determining the lifetime risk for CVD."

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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