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Revista médica de Chile

versión impresa ISSN 0034-9887


LIRA C, María Teresa et al. Cardiovascular prevention and attitude of people towards behavior changes: state of the art. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2006, vol.134, n.2, pp.223-230. ISSN 0034-9887.

In recent years the main focus of cardiovascular prevention has been to identify people without clinical evidence of coronary disease, but with a high risk of developing a clinical event. Long term follow up studies show that a young person with a high "Relative Risk" of presenting a cardiovascular event becomes an adult with a high "Absolute Risk" of suffering it. The aim of primary prevention is to avoid the appearance of cardiovascular diseases, delaying the development of atherosclerosis and its consequences. In this scenario, the first step is to increase awareness among healthy people of their own cardiovascular risk, enhancing their knowledge of their risk parameter values and generating a correct perception of the risk burden that those values mean. Literature review reveals that significant percentages of healthy individuals are unaware of their own values of blood pressure, total cholesterol and blood glucose. Furthermore, people aware of having abnormal parameters have low treatment compliance rates or evidence inconsistency between knowledge and behavior. This paper reviews educational strategies and other factors that influence this knowledge-behavior gap, such as the stages of behavior changes of the Prochaska and Diclemente Model. Evidence has shown that knowledge about cardiovascular risk factors is not enough to influence behavior and that the degree of preparation of people towards behavior changes is a strong predictor of the success of educational and counseling interventions. Local Chilean data from the RICAR project also shows that the profile of behavior change is different for each modifiable cardiovascular risk factor

Palabras clave : Cardiovascular diseases; Prevention & control; Risk factors.

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