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BMJ Open. 2012; 2(5): e001560.
Published online 2012 September 4. doi:  10.1136/bmjopen-2012-001560
PMCID: PMC3437436

Public perceptions of coronary events risk factors: a discrete choice experiment

Abstract

Objectives

To assess public perceptions of coronary heart disease (CHD) risk factors.

Design

Discrete choice experiment questionnaire.

Setting

Six provincial centres in Northern Ireland.

Participants

1000 adults of the general public in Northern Ireland.

Primary and secondary outcomes

The general public's perception of CHD risk factors. The effect of having risk factor(s) on that perception.

Results

Two multinomial logit models were created. One was a basic model (no heterogeneity permitted), while the other permitted heterogeneity based on respondents’ characteristics. In both models individuals with very high cholesterol were perceived to be at the highest risk of having a coronary event. Respondents who reported having high cholesterol perceived the risk contribution of very high cholesterol to be greater than those who reported having normal cholesterol. Similar findings were observed with blood pressure and smoking. Respondents who were male and older perceived the contribution of age and gender to be lower than respondents who were female and younger.

Conclusions

Respondents with different risk factors perceived such factors differently. These divergent perceptions of CHD risk factors could be a barrier to behavioural change. This brings into focus the need for more tailored health promotion campaigns to tackle CHD.

Keywords: Public Health, Primary Care

Articles from BMJ Open are provided here courtesy of BMJ Group