This study aims at providing insight and documentation into the public’s understanding of cardiovascular disease, the global leading cause of death. Data shows that a large percentage of cardiovascular disease (CVD) is preventable, however, the numbers continue to rise (WHO, 2011). The first part of the report will explain CVD and discuss the related economic burden. Next, relevant literature is reviewed to report on previous studies of the same subject. Finally, the study paradigms and design have been explained. The objective of this research plan is to contribute to knowledge regarding women’s understanding of cardiovascular disease. By reviewing the population’s understanding, we can ascertain optimal strategies to implement and identify knowledge “gaps”. Determining what information is missing, and communicating this information is key in preventing chronic disease.
Cardiovascular disease refers to any disease affecting the heart or blood vessels, including major ailments such as hypertension, coronary heart disease, and stroke (WHO, 2011). There are several factors thought to be correlated with CVD risk including; inadequate diet, physical inactivity, high levels of blood cholesterol, overweight and obesity and tobacco use (WHO, 2011).
Cardiovascular disease is responsible for 30% of death on a global scale and the leading cause of both mortality and morbidity in Australia (AIHW, 2010). In 2008, 17million Australian’s died from CVD and by 2030 this number is thought to rise to 26.3 million (AIHW, 2010). Premature death and disability associated with CVD continues to cause extensive strain on individuals, as well as tremendous social and economical strain. Between 2004 and 2005 CVD cost the health system approximately $5.9 billion dollars, accounting for a colossal 11% of overall health expenditure (AIHW, 2010).
Evaluating existing literature is an integral feature of any research project. Scrutinising relevant information assists in discovering missing information or “research gaps”. This literature review will analyse data collected regarding metropolitan dwelling Western Australian women and their understanding, perception and knowledge of cardiovascular disease focussing on providing further insight into the significance of knowledge of cardiovascular disease and CVD prevalence.
Prevalence and current trends
The prevalence of cardio vascular disease has reached disturbing levels on a global scale (WHO, 2011). Although treatment and professional understanding of risk factors is advancing, CVD remains the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in Australia, with 3.5 million people suffering from CVD between 2007 and 2008 and a total of 50 000 deaths attributed to CVD in 2008 (AIHW, 2010). Approximately 92% of Australian adults are afflicted with one risk of CVD, with approximately 40% of the population having ≥2 risk factors (AIHW, 2005). It is commonly believed...