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Heart attack and acute stroke are prevailing causes of death in the eastern European countries. The goal of this study was to determine
whether encountering a heart attack or stroke influences the knowledge of these acute cardiovascular disease complications
among urban Lithuanian adults. Data about cardiovascular disease risk factors, heart attack and stroke warning signs was collected
by developing close-ended questions at “Vilniaus Centro Poliklinika” primary health care center in 2015. The knowledge levels were
compared between control group and the following three: heart attack or stroke survivors; those who have heart attack victims
among family members or close friends; those having stroke victims in their close surroundings. In total, answers from (n=408)
respondents aged 25-65 years was analyzed. The main age was 44.09±11.9 and (53.2%) were women. Those whose family members
and close friends suffered from stroke had better knowledge of stroke warning signs (p<0.001) and cardiovascular disease risk factors
(p=0.02) whereas those who had heart attack victims among close acquaintances, were significantly better in recognizing only heart
attack warning signs (p<0.001). Adults, who underwent heart attack or stroke personally, were more familiar only with cardiovascular
disease risk factors (p=0.015), but knowledge level about heart attack or stroke warning signs had no difference in comparison to
control group. Since heart attack and stroke survivors usually are elderly people, having limited educative facilities primary health
care providers should be concerned about transferring repeated health-protecting messages to their high risk cardiovascular patients.
Laura Špejeraitė has completed her MD from Vilnius University, Faculty of Medicine. She also completed her six months long Internship in various departments and has done her Residency in Family Medicine. Now, she is working as a Senior Doctor Resident at Vilnius University Hospital Santariskiu Clinics.