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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 295-301

Perception of selected risk factors for cancer and heart attack among visitors of a public hospital


1 Department of Community Medicine, Pt. B.D. Sharma, PGIMS, Rohtak, Haryana, India
2 Department of TB and Respiratory Medicine, Pt. B.D. Sharma, PGIMS, Rohtak, Haryana, India

Correspondence Address:
Sandeep Sachdeva
Department of Community Medicine, Pt. B.D. Sharma, PGIMS, Rohtak - 124 001, Haryana
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2278-0513.156077

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Background: To assess perception of selected risk factors for cancer and heart attack among visitors of a public hospital. Materials and Methods: Randomly 1651 ambulatory adults were contacted using predesigned, pretested, semi-structure interview schedule comprising selective 12 risk factors for cancer (increasing age, tobacco, obesity, alcohol, diet-rich in fat/oil, diet-poor in fruits and vegetables (F and V), physical in-activity, environmental pollution, multiple sexual partners, insecticides/pesticides/chemicals, micro-organism, family history) and 11 for heart attack (increasing age, tobacco, obesity, alcohol, diet-rich in fat/oil, diet-poor in F and V, physical in-activity, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, mental stress, family history). Correct response was awarded one mark and incorrect/do not know response as zero. Results: The study participants comprised of 56.2% attendants and 43.8% patients with mean age of 36.78 (±13.05) years; 71.2% were male, 65% resided in rural area and 32.3% subjects were smoker. A statistically (P = 0.001) higher odds for smoking was found among less educated (odds ratio [OR]: 1.30), rural (OR: 1.60), male (OR: 2.85), patients (OR: 1.41) of more than 30 years of age (OR: 1.67). Nearly, 64.5% and 82.0% subject responded that tobacco causes the heart attack and cancer while obesity was considered as a risk factor by 68.4% (heart attack) and 28.1% (cancer). Nearly, 70.7% and 32.0% reported diet rich in fat/oil and poor in F and V could lead to heart attack but only 23.5% and 25.8% mentioned respectively for cancer. Mean risk factors identified for heart attack were 6.64 ± 2.29 (range: 0-11) while for cancer it was 5.01 ± 2.33 (range: 0-12). Nearly, 670 (40.58%) and 620 (37.55%) subjects mentioned spontaneously at least one type/anatomical site-specific cancer of male and female respectively; 73.4% believed that cancer does not spread by social activity and 54.2% opined that cancer is treatable if detected early. Conclusion: Overall low to moderate level of awareness was noticed for selected risk factors of heart attack but still better than cancer with ample scope for capacity building of stakeholders.


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