Perception of Selected Risk Factors for Cancer and Heart Attack Among Visitors of a Public Hospital in India
Clin Cancer Investig J 2015;4:295-301.
8 Pages Posted: 11 Jul 2016
Date Written: June 8, 2016
Background: To assess perception of selected risk factors for cancer and heart attack among visitors of a public hospital.
Materials and Methods: Randomly 1651 ambulatory adults were contacted using predesigned, pretested, semi‑structure interview schedule comprising selective 12 risk factors for cancer (increasing age, tobacco, obesity, alcohol, diet‑rich in fat/oil, diet‑poor in fruits and vegetables (F and V), physical in‑activity, environmental pollution, multiple sexual partners, insecticides/pesticides/chemicals, micro‑organism, family history) and 11 for heart attack (increasing age, tobacco, obesity, alcohol, diet‑rich in fat/oil, diet‑poor in F and V, physical in‑activity, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, mental stress, family history). Correct response was awarded one mark and incorrect/do not know response as zero. Results: The study participants comprised of 56.2% attendants and 43.8% patients with mean age of 36.78 (±13.05) years; 71.2% were male, 65% resided in rural area and 32.3% subjects were smoker. A statistically (P = 0.001) higher odds for smoking was found among less educated (odds ratio [OR]: 1.30), rural (OR: 1.60), male (OR: 2.85), patients (OR: 1.41) of more than 30 years of age (OR: 1.67). Nearly, 64.5% and 82.0% subject responded that tobacco causes the heart attack and cancer while obesity was considered as a risk factor by 68.4% (heart attack) and 28.1% (cancer). Nearly, 70.7% and 32.0% reported diet rich in fat/oil and poor in F and V could lead to heart attack but only 23.5% and 25.8% mentioned respectively for cancer. Mean risk factors identified for heart attack were 6.64 ± 2.29 (range: 0–11) while for cancer it was 5.01 ± 2.33 (range: 0–12). Nearly, 670 (40.58%) and 620 (37.55%) subjects mentioned spontaneously at least one type/anatomical site‑specific cancer of male and female respectively; 73.4% believed that cancer does not spread by social activity and 54.2% opined that cancer is treatable if detected early.
Conclusion: Overall low to moderate level of awareness was noticed for selected risk factors of heart attack but still better than cancer with ample scope for capacity building of stakeholders.
Keywords: Alcohol, awareness, fruits, knowledge, misconception, myth, noncommunicable disease, physical activity, program malignancy, tobacco, KAP, knowledge
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