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Risk perception of cardiovascular diseases among individuals with hypertension in rural Malaysia
  1. Nazar Mohd Zabadi Mohd Azahar1,
  2. Ambigga Devi S Krishnapillai2,
  3. Noor Hanita Zaini3,
  4. Khalid Yusoff4,5
  1. 1 Department of Medical Laboratory Technology, Faculty of Health Sciences, Universiti Teknologi MARA Pulau Pinang, Bertam Campus
  2. 2 Faculty of Medicine & Defence Health, National Defence University of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  3. 3 Department of Nursing Science, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  4. 4 UCSI University, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  5. 5 Department of Cardiology, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  1. Correspondence to Nazar Mohd Zabadi Mohd Azahar, Department of Medical Laboratory Technology, Faculty of Health Sciences, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Pulau Pinang, Bertam Campus, Malaysia; nazarzabadi{at}


Objective Despite various efforts, hypertension remains poorly controlled, thus allowing cardiovascular disease (CVD) to impact the health burden worldwide. Patients’ perception of risk may contribute to this scenario. The present study aims to assess the level of risk perception among individuals with hypertension in rural Malaysia.

Methods This is a community-based study conducted among adults between 2010 and 2011 among a rural population in Raub, Pahang, Malaysia. Blood pressure was measured after 5 min of rest. Measurement was done twice and the average was recorded. Cardiovascular risk perception score (CvRPS) was derived using the Modified Risk and Health Behavior Questionnaire. Higher CvRPS indicates the respondent perceives a poorer prognostic outlook.

Results A total of 383 respondents who have hypertension participated in this study. The mean age of respondents was 62±10.6 years; men 63.1±9.6 years, women 61.2±11.1 years (p>0.05). Among hypertensives, those who were not on medication had significantly lower CvRPS compared with those who were on medications (115.9±22.1vs 120.9±23.5, p=0.036); those who were not aware of their hypertensive status had significantly lower CvRPS compared with respondents who were aware about their hypertension (116.7±22.5vs 121.7±21.3, p=0.029) and those with uncontrolled hypertension had significantly lower CvRPS compared with those whose blood pressure was controlled (118.2±22.2vs 128.8±25.8, p=0.009).

Conclusions Our study shows that respondents who were not on medications, unaware of their hypertension status and those who had uncontrolled hypertension tended to underestimate (lower CvRPS) their risk for CVD. Improving their CvPRS through a concerted health education may lead to better therapeutic behaviour and outcomes.

  • cardiovascular risk perception
  • rural
  • cardiovascular disease
  • health education
  • hypertension.

Statistics from


  • Contributors NMZMA and ADSK were involved in the data collection. NMZMA performed the statistical analysis and wrote the manuscript. NMZMA, ADSK, NHZ and KY were involved in the critical revision of the manuscript. KY is the principal investigator of this study. He played a major role in the conception of study design and provided expertise in the critical revision and intellectual content of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final version.

  • Funding This work was supported by the Ministry of Higher Education, Malaysia (grant number: 600-RMI/LRGS 5/3 (2/2011)) and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (grant number: 07-05-IFN BPH 010).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval Institutional Ethics Committee.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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