Heart Skills - Health literacy and health behaviour in people with cardiovascular disease

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Background: Health literacy (HL) can be defined as people's knowledge, motivation and competences to access, understand, appraise and apply health information. HL encompasses important skills needed for effective prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Purposes: We aimed to analyse associations between health literacy and health behaviour in a Danish population with self-reported CVD. Methods: A cross-sectional study was performed based on respondents with CVD aged >25 years from the 2013 Danish Health and Morbidity Survey (n=3,116). Two HL scales from the Australian Health Literacy Questionnaire (HLQ) were used: 'understanding health information well enough to know what to do' and 'ability to actively engage with healthcare providers'. Dependent outcomes included physical activity, dietary habits, smoking habits, alcohol consumption and body mass index. Results: Preliminary results show that after adjusting for sociodemographic covariates a one-unit increase in mean scale score of 'understanding health information…' decreased the odds of being physically inactive (adjusted OR 0.55), eating unhealthily (adjusted OR 0.69), being daily a smoker (adjusted OR 0.81), and being obese (adjusted OR 0.80). Similarly, associations were found between mean scale score of 'ability to actively engage…' and physical inactivity (adjusted OR 0.67) and daily smoking (adjusted OR 0.82) but not unhealthy diet or obesity. Conclusion: This study reports on HL competencies needed for effective self-care and CVD prevention and shows positive associations between these and health behaviour such as physical activity, diet and smoking habits. Health literacy may offer a modifiable approach targeting consequences of social inequalities in health within the preventive health arena.
Original languageEnglish
Publication yearApr 2017
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2017
EventWorld Conference of Public Health 2017 - Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 3 Apr 20177 Apr 2017
Conference number: 15


ConferenceWorld Conference of Public Health 2017

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ID: 157360954