Health literacy in people with cardiac conditions – results from a large population survey

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterResearchpeer-review

Background. Health literacy constitutes a possible link between social determinants of health and health outcomes. Aspects of health literacy such as the understanding of health information and the engagement with health care providers are crucial in the prevention and care of chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease. Aim. Through several studies we have analysed the health consequences of low health literacy in a large Danish population. Methods. Two cross-sectional studies were performed based on respondents >25 years with current or former self-reported acute myocardial infarction, angina pectoris or stroke from the 2013 survey “How Are You? 2013” in Central Denmark Region (n=3,116). Two HL scales from the Australian Health Literacy Questionnaire (HLQ) were used to measure health literacy: 'understanding health information' and ‘engaging with healthcare providers'. Using regression analyses we examined the association between health literacy and physical activity, dietary habits, smoking habits, alcohol consumption, Body Mass Index and health status. Results. ‘Understanding health information’ was inversely associated with physical inactivity (odds ratio (OR) 0.48 (0.39;0.59), unhealthy diet (OR 0.64 (0.47;0.88)), underweight (OR 0.43 (0.21;0.89)) and obesity (OR 0.79 (0.63;0.99)). ‘Engaging with healthcare providers’ was inversely associated with physical inactivity (OR 0.64 (0.53;0.77)), less than healthy diet (OR 0.79 (0.64;0.96)) and daily smoking (OR 0.81 (0.66;1.0)). An increase in ‘understanding health information’ as well as ‘engaging with healthcare providers’ was associated with an increase in both physical and mental health status. Perspectives. These studies show positive associations between important health literacy competencies and healthy lifestyle as well as good health status in people with cardiac conditions. The development of individual health literacy and health literacy responsive services may prove an effective approach to improve health in people with chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease.
Original languageEnglish
Publication yearSep 2018
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2018
Event10th IUHPE European Conference - Trondheim, Norway
Duration: 24 Sep 201826 Sep 2018


Conference10th IUHPE European Conference

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