Nitin Joseph, R Srinath, Aditya Ramanathan, Ashutosh Kumar Gupta, P Nandan, Rimsha Afnan
Department of Community Medicine, Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore, Manipal University, Karnataka, India.
Introduction: Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) account for more than one-third of outpatient visits and inpatient admissions and more than half of the proportional mortality rate from all causes of death in India. The burden of modifiable risk factors of NCDs in India is increasing significantly over the past five decades. Therefore, the reason behind this and the preparedness of people to deal with it need to be ascertained. Objectives: The objective of this study was to assess the awareness of people regarding risk factors, warning signs, and immediate management practices in specific NCDs. Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted among people in a government and private tertiary care hospital of Mangalore city in February 2016. Data were collected by interviewing each participant using a pretested validated structured interview schedule. Results: All the 400 enrolled participants had heard about heart attack, hypertension, and diabetes mellitus. However, only 250 (62.5%) had heard about stroke. Good awareness about heart attack was present among 62.5%, stroke among 57.6%, hypertension among 59%, and diabetes mellitus among 55.8% of participants. Multivariate analysis using ordinal logistic regression analysis found that good educational status and being vegetarian were significant predictors of good awareness level about heart attack. Similarly, these factors along with urban residential status were significant predictors of good awareness level about stroke. Age above 55 years was a significant predictor of good awareness level about diabetes mellitus. Conclusion: The various sociodemographic groups identified to have poor knowledge about NCDs in this study require targeted intervention during health educational campaigns.
Keywords: Awareness, Immediate management practices, Noncommunicable diseases, Risk factors, Warning symptoms/signs.