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Workers' Knowledge and Beliefs About Cardiometabolic Health Risk

Damman, Olga C. PhD; van der Beek, Allard J. PhD; Timmermans, Danielle R.M. PhD

Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine: January 2014 - Volume 56 - Issue 1 - p 92–100
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000000041
Original Articles

Objective: Investigate workers' knowledge and beliefs about cardiometabolic risk.

Methods: A survey on the risks of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and chronic kidney disease was disseminated among Dutch construction workers and employees from the general working population.

Results: We had 482 respondents (26.8%) among construction workers and 738 respondents (65.1%) among the general working population. Employees showed reasonable basic knowledge, especially about cardiovascular disease risk factors and risk reduction. Nevertheless, they also had knowledge gaps (eg, specific dietary intake) and showed misconceptions of what elevated risk entails. Employees having lower education, being male, and having lower health literacy demonstrated less adequate knowledge and beliefs.

Conclusion: To improve the potential effect of health risk assessments in the occupational setting, physicians should explain what it means to be at elevated cardiometabolic risk and target their messages to employee subgroups.

From the Department of Public and Occupational Health and the EMGO+ Institute for Health and Care Research, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Address correspondence to: Olga C. Damman, PhD, Department of Public and Occupational Health and the EMGO+ Institute for Health Care and Research, VU University Medical Center, Van der Boechorststraat 7, 1081 BT Amsterdam, the Netherlands (o.damman@vumc.nl).

This study received financial support from the “Live a Healthy and Long Life” program of the Dutch Diabetes Research Foundation, the Dutch Heart Foundation, and the Dutch Kidney Foundation.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Copyright © 2014 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine