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Background: India along with other South Asian countries significantly contributes to the global burden of cardiovascular diseases. Studies have shown Indians to exhibit higher prevalence of Coronary Artery Disease and coronary risk factors as compared with Caucasians. These risk factors are compounded by behavioural risk factors such as regular tobacco use, low physical activity as well as a high saturated fat intake and this places a need for effective behavioural modification.
Objective: To identify behavioural risk factors among patients at increased risk of cardiovascular disease in the general medical practice and to identify if these high-risk patients were subjected to any health promotional activities to modify their risk behaviour.
Methods: A cross sectional study was carried out at the general medical clinics of a tertiary care teaching hospital in coastal Karnataka, India. A total of 68 patients who were at an increased risk for cardiovascular disease attending these outpatient services during a two month period were recruited into the study. A pretested questionnaire was used to collect the relevant data.
Results: Seventy three percent of the participants were older than 50 years of age. Majority (79%) were diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. Most of the participants (66%) were engaged in light physical activity, and almost 48% were observed to have a high Body Mass Index (BMI). None of the 8 smokers identified in the study had been subjected to any stage based behaviour change therapy. Although diet modification was advised in up to 95% of the cases, only 19% received a supervised diet plan. A marginal improvement in the BMI was noted among these individuals.
Conclusion: These findings indicate the paucity of behavioural change intervention in the day to day care of chronic patients. A targeted behavioural counselling imparted by trained professionals is the need of the hour to bring about the desired change among patients at risk of cardiovascular disease.
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Author(s): Auras Atreya Asha Kamath Muralidhar Varma Suma Nair