Our Members Know a Lot About Heart Disease
When it comes to cardiovascular disease (CVD), members in MDVIP-affiliated practices know a lot. That was one positive takeaway from a national survey of consumers’ understanding of CVD recently conducted by MDVIP and Ipsos.
For example, most members knew that, in addition to cholesterol levels, inflammation was an important factor in heart disease. But the general public was less informed about a whole host of heart disease-related concerns.
In fact, only 35 percent of consumers knew that inflammation is the trigger for most heart attacks and strokes, and most in our survey reported that they had little knowledge about inflammation. This isn't a big surprise. Most physicians don't have time to go beyond the standard level of care or educate their patients about other factors that contribute to heart disease. As we've learned, that can be deadly: Half of all heart attacks occur in people with normal cholesterol levels.
The MDVIP/Ipsos poll was conducted Nov. 15-16, 2018. For the survey, a sample of 1,006 adults ages 18 and over was interviewed. An additional sample of 1,615 members was interviewed between Nov. 29-30. Can you do better? Take the member quiz and find out.
Even though members who were interviewed knew a lot about inflammation, they performed similarly to non-members when it came to many other CVD questions. For example, most members and non-members thought men had a lower chance of surviving their first heart attack compared to women; it’s actually women who have a lower survival rate, according to Harvard Health.
Members and non-members also underestimated just how many people with diabetes suffer from heart attacks and strokes. The American Heart Association reports that 68 percent of people 65 or older with diabetes die from some form of heart disease and 16 percent die from stroke.
The importance of exercise was equally downplayed by members and non-members – but exercise is crucially important to heart health. A study published in JAMA Network Open found that having a low aerobic fitness level was just as much of a heart attack and stroke risk as having diabetes or smoking.
Still, members knew who to turn to for help with heart disease risk: The vast majority of members said a primary care doctor was the best doctor to help prevent heart disease, while less than half of non-members answered that question correctly. And 97 percent of members knew if you have a family history of heart disease, there’s still something you can do to lower your risk.
Have you taken our Heart Attack IQ quiz? Test your knowledge and download a heart disease discussion guide you can use with your MDVIP-affiliated physician.