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Arquivos Brasileiros de Cardiologia

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BORGES, Camila Feijó; BUSNELLO, Fernanda Michielin  and  PELLANDA, Lucia Campos. Identification of cardiovascular risk factors in parents/caregivers of children with heart diseases. Arq. Bras. Cardiol. [online]. 2012, vol.99, n.4, pp.936-943.  Epub Sep 06, 2012. ISSN 0066-782X.

BACKGROUND: Cardiovascular diseases are one of the major causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide. In Brazil, they are the major cause of death. OBJECTIVE: To identify cardiovascular risk factors in parents/caregivers of children with heart diseases by assessing their nutritional status, health conditions, and life style. METHODS: Cross-sectional study of 150 parents or caregivers of children with heart diseases who attended a cardiology outpatient clinic. Data on identification, lifestyle and health conditions were collected by means of a structured questionnaire. For the assessment of the eating habits, a questionnaire on eating frequency was used; for the assessment of the nutritional status, weight, height, and waist circumference were measured, and the body mass index (BMI) was calculated and classified. RESULTS: A total of 155 parents of children with heart diseases, predominantly of the female gender (91.6%), were evaluated; their mean age was 35.0 ± 10.6 years. The most prevalent risk factors were sedentary lifestyle (85.2%), obesity (28%) and hypertension (22.6%). As regards the eating habits, a high frequency of intake of red meat, margarine, vegetable oil, and sugar and low intake of fish were observed. Comparison between genders showed a significant difference in relation to obesity, as detected by BMI, and hypertension, both more frequent among women. Waist circumference measurement also showed a higher cardiovascular risk in women. CONCLUSION: Cardiovascular risk factors such as excess weight, sedentary lifestyle, and hypertension as well as inadequate eating habits such as a high frequency of intake of saturated fat and cholesterol and low intake of unsaturated fat were identified in the parents/caregivers assessed.

Keywords : Cardiovascular Diseases; Risk Factors; Child; Lifestyle; Nutritional Status; Caregivers; Parents.

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