HDL-knowledge in the lay public: Results of a representative population survey


      Study objectives

      The aim of this study was to examine the extent of the general public's knowledge concerning HDL-cholesterol and to identify the role of gender, age, population size of the locality and socio-economic factors.


      Cross-sectional population-based telephone survey.


      Austrian general population.


      Nine hundred and ninety nine subjects aged 16 years or over, randomly selected from the official telephone directory in Austria.

      Main results

      13.9% of the 999 participants were familiar with the term HDL-cholesterol, correctly identified HDL-cholesterol as the favourable cholesterol component and indicated that HDL-cholesterol should be high rather than low. Knowledge of HDL-cholesterol increased with population size of the locality, total net income of the household and educational level. Respondents in bigger localities had their HDL-cholesterol measured more frequently. Older people and males reported making significantly more attempts to positively influence their HDL-cholesterol level. 29.6% of those respondents familiar with the term HDL-cholesterol reported having had their HDL-cholesterol measured at some point. Physicians, newspapers and television were identified as the most important sources of information on HDL-cholesterol by 79.7, 19.9 and 10.3% of the study subjects, respectively.


      Although measuring HDL-cholesterol plays a major role in the assessment of cardiovascular risk, public knowledge about HDL-cholesterol is scarce.


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