THE KNOWLEDGE OF MENTAL ILLNESS AS A RISK FACTOR FOR CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE AMONG INDIVIDUALS WITH MENTAL ILLNESS
Roy, Reshma Ann
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Compared to individuals without mental illness, individuals with mental illness (MI) are two times as likely to develop and three times as likely to die from cardiovascular disease (CVD). One reason for this is that they are screened significantly less for CVD risk factors. Encouraging individuals with MI to ask for proper CVD risk factors from providers directly has been suggested to improve the cardiovascular care they receive. Before this, it was important to determine whether this population knows about their increased risk. Thus, knowledge of MI was compared to five other risk factors (obesity/overweightness, smoking, hypertension, inactivity, hypercholesterolemia) among individuals with MI. A significant difference between knowledge of MI and the other five risk factors was found, meaning individuals with MI are unaware of their increased CVD risk. The study thus highlights the need for interventions to increase knowledge of MI being a CVD risk factor among this population.