Cardiovascular Risk Factor Knowledge and Behaviors Among Low-Income Urban Women in Mysore, India

Karl Krupp, Meredith L. Wilcox, Arun Srinivas, Vijaya Srinivas, Purnima Madhivanan, Elena Bastida

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the leading causes of death among women globally. Cardiovascular disease-related events are more common in older women compared with men and are more likely to result in death. Although research in high-income countries suggests that women have unique sociobiological CVD risk factors, only a few study authors have examined risk factor knowledge among women from low- and middle-income countries. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to assess CVD risk factor knowledge among low-income urban Indian women. METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted among a nonprobability sample of 607 slum-dwelling women, 40 to 64 years old, living in Mysore, India, between October 2017 and May 2018. Participants underwent an interviewer-administered questionnaire measuring demographics, CVD risk factor knowledge, and medical history. RESULTS: Cardiovascular disease risk factor knowledge was low in this population and was associated with age, education, income, and caste. Approximately half of the participants (47%) answered less than 50% of the questions correctly, and a third had knowledge scores greater than 70%, which we defined as "good knowledge." Only 4 of 7 traditional CVD risk factors (ie, physical activity, smoking, overweight, and high cholesterol) were recognized by greater than half of the participants. The lowest knowledge levels were among older single women with no education and monthly household incomes less than Rs 3000 (approximately US $42). CONCLUSIONS: Previous research among slum dwellers in India reported a high prevalence of modifiable CVD risk factors compared with more affluent urban peers. Interventions aimed at CVD risk factor knowledge may be an important first step in controlling heart disease in this vulnerable population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)588-598
Number of pages11
JournalThe Journal of cardiovascular nursing
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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