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Knowledge of cardiovascular risk factors among medical students at king Abdulaziz university

Kholoud A. Ghamri, Ranya A. Ghamri, Ebtisam A. Alofi


The prevalence of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) has been increasing in developing and developed nations during the last decade. CVD can be prevented by providing training opportunities to medical doctors and other healthcare workers, including medical students (MS). A cross-sectional survey of the knowledge of CVD risk factors was distributed among medical students N=259: third-year=109; fifth-year=75; and sixth-year=75. Students in the third-year were more knowledgeable of target low-density lipoprotein levels in diabetic patients than others (p-value=0.030). A significantly higher proportion of fifth- and sixth-year students were knowledgeable about arterial blood pressure values in high-risk persons than third-year MS (p-value = 0.001). Sixth-year MS were more aware of the rate of mortality in KSA than other groups (p-value=0.0001). Moreover, sixth-year MS were more knowledgeable about medication prescription (64%) than fifth-year (48%) and third-year students (45%) (p-value=0.015). Approximately 36% of sixth-year MS compared with 22.2% of those of the third-year had sufficient knowledge of the CVD risk factors (p-value=0.045). Overall, clinical year students had a better understanding of CVD risk factors than those in the pre-clinical year, although they were insufficiently aware of CVD risk factors. Medical education on CVD prevention should therefore be substantially improved at the Faculty of Medicine of KAU.

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