Knowledge and perception of cardiovascular disease risk in women of reproductive age

Lauren Beussink-Nelson, Abigail S. Baldridge, Elizabeth Hibler, Natalie A. Bello, Kelly Epps, Kenzie A. Cameron, Donald M. Lloyd-Jones, Holly C. Gooding, Janet M. Catov, Janet W. Rich-Edwards, Lynn M. Yee, Paloma Toledo, Jennifer M. Banayan, Sadiya S. Khan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objective: Women who experience adverse pregnancy outcomes (APO) are at increased risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD); however, their knowledge of CVD risk is not well characterized. We aimed to evaluate knowledge and perception of CVD risk in young women and to determine whether these factors differ based on experience of an APO. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study among women with a recent live birth at an urban medical center. Knowledge and perception of CVD risk were assessed through a self-administered online survey adapted from the American Heart Association Survey of Women's CVD Awareness. Results: Of 5612 individuals contacted between 3/1/21 and 4/18/21, 714 completed the survey; the mean (SD) age was 34 (4) years and 25% reported an APO. While 62% of respondents identified CVD as the leading cause of death in women, there was no significant difference in CVD knowledge scores between participants who reported experiencing an APO and those who did not (6.9 vs 6.8 out of 10; p = 0.51). Participants who reported experiencing an APO had higher perception of personal risk for CVD (adjusted odds ratio, 2.64 [95% CI 1.83-3.80]) compared with participants who did not. Half of participants who experienced an APO reported perceiving average, or below average, risk for CVD and only 41 (22.5%) reported speaking with a healthcare professional about CVD within the past year. Conclusions: Gaps remain in knowledge of CVD risk among young women, particularly after an APO. The peripartum period may represent a unique opportunity for targeted education when healthcare engagement is high.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100364
JournalAmerican Journal of Preventive Cardiology
StatePublished - Sep 2022


  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Pregnancy
  • Prevention
  • Risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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