Abstract P062: Cardiovascular Health Awareness Among School Children in the Rural District of Midnapore, India: A School-Based Survey
Introduction: India is the second most populous country in the world with two thirds of the population in their youth. With economic development and adoption of a western lifestyle, a large number of people in India will be affected by cardiovascular disease (CVD). As atherosclerosis starts in the second decade of life and many of the risk factors are better controlled if addressed early, health awareness among the school children assumes a central role for primary prevention. Currently, there is no established school health program for health education about CVD in India. This survey was conducted to assess the present level of health awareness about CVD in the adolescent school children with a goal to establish school-based health education, early detection of different risk factors and development of heart healthy lifestyle.
Methods: A school-based survey was conducted between 15th of June and 15th of July, 2014 as a joint venture of Tufts University, USA and Kolkata Medical College, India in the rural district of Midnapore, India with approval from the IRB of Tufts University and the local ethics committee. This involved a pre-test with 20 questions each having 5 statements, a power point presentation by a physician of the study team, and a post-test using the same questions. The data were analyzed by the cluster sampling design method.
Results: Nine hundred and fifty nine students (32 %) participated in the survey out of a target population of 3003 from 11 schools with a mean age 14.5 years, 58% male, 59% grade IX and 41% grade X. Prevalence of known CAD among the parents (as reported by the students) was 3% and current history of smoking (26%) was the predominant risk factor, while other identified risk factors were less common (hypertension 5%, diabetes mellitus 4%, and hyperlipidemia 3%). In the pretest evaluation, the mean score was 41/100 (IQR 33-48 and SD ± 10.5) with an improvement by 7% in the post test results (IQR 36-59, SD ± 16.9). This improvement was highly significant by Wilcoxon signed rank test with continuity correction (p <0.001). A multivariable regression analysis showed family history of hypertension (p = 0.01) and higher parental education (p = 0.02) were the main determinants for an improved score.
Conclusions: Cardiovascular health awareness was modest among the adolescent school children in the population under study. A school-based educational program may help improve awareness and reduce disease burden in this community.
Author Disclosures: M. Ray: None.
- © 2015 by American Heart Association, Inc.