Young adults’ knowledge and attitudes towards Cardiovascular Disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Ronald Trejo, Wendy Cross, John Stephenson, Karen-leigh Edward

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Aims and objectives: To explore young adult’s knowledge and attitudes of cardiovascular disease and its risk factors.
Background: Cardiovascular disease morbidity is rising and mortality is declining among young adults. However, the knowledge of cardiovascular disease by young adults is not well known.
Design: A systematic review with meta-analysis was used.
Methods: The databases of CINHAL, Medline Complete, PsychINFO and Psycharticles were searched for all studies published before June 2016. Search terms included cardiovascular disease, young adult, attitude and knowledge. Papers were included if they were published in English and reported quantitative research with a study population between the ages of 18 to 34 years, with a focus on knowledge and attitudes to cardiovascular disease. Meta-analyses were conducted to assess the extent of knowledge of risk factors on heart disease.
Results: Nine risk factors for cardiovascular disease were identified by the respondents; smoking (synthesized estimate of 55% of respondents identifying as a risk factor, 95% confidence interval of synthesized estimate 45-65%); obesity (27%, 95% CI, 26-29%); high blood cholesterol (33%, 95% CI, 12-54%); high blood pressure (25%, 95% CI, 18-32%); genetic factors (26%, 95% CI, 23-29%); physical inactivity (39%, 95% CI, 30-47%); stress (49%, 95% CI, 48-51%); advancing age (10%, 95% CI, 8-12%) and diet (55%, 95% CI, 54-56%).
Conclusion: Young adults demonstrate limited knowledge and poor attitudes regarding cardiovascular disease and its risk factors. The finding of this review demonstrates that there is an urgent need to build knowledge of cardiovascular risk identification in this population group.
Relevance to clinical practice: Increasing cardiovascular disease in young adults will put stress in the health care system financially and economically. There is a need of awareness of cardiovascular disease in this population group.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4245-4256
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Clinical Nursing
Issue number23-24
Early online date18 May 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018


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