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

      Abstract

      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.

      Design

      Cross-sectional population-based telephone survey.

      Setting

      Austrian general population.

      Participants

      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.

      Conclusions

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

      Keywords

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