Findings from a study published in the September/October issue of Annals of Family Medicine suggest that low educational level should be included in coronary heart disease (CHD) treatment guidelines.
Finding that patients who have not finished high school have a 2.4 percent higher risk of dying of coronary heart disease than those with more schooling, Kevin Fiscella, M.D., M.P.H. and colleagues suggest that educational level of less that 12 years should be incorporated into the current CHD treatment guidelines.
The findings were drawn from a prospective cohort study of 6,479 adults aged 25 to 74 years who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and for whom ascertainment of risk factors and 10-year status was available.
The authors point out that the risk associated with low education level is comparable in magnitude to many of the traditional risk factors, including cholesterol level, smoking status, sex and age, which are included in the current treatment guidelines.
The authors suggest that use of low education level to identify persons at higher risk of CHD, who are not otherwise identifiable under current guidelines, may facilitate progress toward individualized treatment and the elimination of socioeconomic disparities in health.
Source: Eurekalert & othersLast reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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