Knowledge of heart disease risk in a multicultural community sample of people with diabetes

Julie Wagner, Kimberly Lacey, Gina Abbott, Mary De Groot, Deborah Chyun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Prevention of coronary heart disease (CHD) is a primary goal of diabetes management. Unfortunately, CHD risk knowledge is poor among people with diabetes. Purpose: The objective is to determine predictors of CHD risk knowledge in a community sample of people with diabetes. Methods: A total of 678 people with diabetes completed the Heart Disease Facts Questionnaire (HDFQ), a valid and reliable measure of knowledge about the relationship between diabetes and heart disease. Results: In regression analysis with demographics predicting HDFQ scores, sex, annual income, education, and health insurance status predicted HDFQ scores. In a separate regression analysis, having CHD risk factors did not predict HDFQ scores, however, taking medication for CHD risk factors did predict higher HDFQ scores. An analysis of variance showed significant differences between ethnic groups for HDFQ scores; Whites (M = 20.9) showed more CHD risk knowledge than African Americans (M = 19.6), who in turn showed more than Latinos (M = 18.2). Asians scored near Whites (M = 20.4) but did not differ significantly from any other group. Controlling for numerous demographic, socioeconomic, health care, diabetes, and cardiovascular health variables, the magnitude of ethnic differences was attenuated, but persisted. Conclusion: Education regarding modifiable risk factors must be delivered in a timely fashion so that lifestyle modification can be implemented and evaluated before pharmacotherapy is deemed necessary. African Americans and Latinos with diabetes are in the greatest need of education regarding CHD risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)224-230
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Behavioral Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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