Cardiovascular Disease In Women: A Correlational Study Between Risk Factors And Health Beliefs

Women’s personal awareness of cardiovascular disease has increased but failed to translate into a preventive modification of behaviors to decrease risk (Mosca, Hammond, Mochari-Greenberger, Towfighi, & Albert, 2013). There is evidence that perception of susceptibility, modifiable risk factors, and a lack of preventive measures contributes to the prevalence of cardiovascular disease in women (American Heart Association, 2014). Women’s perceptions of their risks for heart disease can also greatly influence their behaviors and healthcare decisions (U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, 2014b). The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between health beliefs of women and their risk for cardiovascular disease. This study will use a cross-sectional, descriptive, correlation design with a convenience sample of women veterans between 20 to 40 years of age enrolled in the Veterans Affairs (VA) San Diego Healthcare System recruited from the women’s health clinics. Data will be collected using a combination of printed questionnaires to measure health beliefs, risks for cardiovascular disease, and demographic data and a chart review to obtain measurements of blood pressure, height, weight, total cholesterol, and serum glucose levels. Statistical Package for the Social Science (SPSS) will be used to analyze Pearson and Spearman correlation coefficient of health belief benefits and barriers to active engagement in preventive behaviors and risks for cardiovascular disease. The results will contribute to the development of interventions to educate women and healthcare providers to increase awareness, effectively identify personal risk and motivate women to engage in screening and preventive lifestyle behaviors to reduce risk.