Cadernos de Saúde Pública
On-line version ISSN 1678-4464
KNUTH, Alan G. et al. Public knowledge on the role of physical activity in the prevention and treatment of diabetes and hypertension: a population-based study in southern Brazil. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2009, vol.25, n.3, pp. 513-520. ISSN 1678-4464. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2009000300006.
The aim of this study was to evaluate public knowledge on the role of physical activity in the prevention and treatment of diabetes and hypertension, and the factors associated with such knowledge. A population-based cross-sectional study was conducted in Pelotas, southern Brazil, including 972 adults aged 20 to 69 years, selected with a clustering protocol. Knowledge on the preventive and curative benefits of physical activity was higher for hypertension (87.2%) than for diabetes (47.2%). Women were more knowledgeable on the role of physical activity in preventing diabetes (PR: 1.16; 95%CI: 1.03-1.31). In terms of treatment, greater knowledge was associated with female gender, current physical activity, obesity, subjects, and higher socioeconomic status. For prevention of hypertension, greater knowledge was observed in individuals with higher socioeconomic status (PR: 1.23; 95%CI: 1.11-1.36). For treatment of hypertension, physically active and obese subjects showed greater knowledge. Subjects were generally more knowledgeable on the curative role of physical activity than on its preventive benefits. Public health efforts should aim to raise public awareness on the preventive effects of physical activity against diabetes, hypertension, and other chronic non-communicable diseases.
Keywords : Diabetes Mellitus; Hypertension; Motor Activity.