eISSN: 2449-8580
ISSN: 1734-3402
Family Medicine & Primary Care Review
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4/2021
vol. 23
 
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abstract:
Original paper

Health literacy and cardiovascular complications in people with type 2 Diabetes

Maria Vieira
1
,
Inês Rosendo
2, 3, 4
,
Pedro Gomes
2
,
Luiz Miguel Santiago
2, 3, 5
,
Ana Catarina Domingues
6
,
José Augusto Simões
1, 3, 4

1.
Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Beira Interior, Covilhã, Portugal
2.
Faculty of Medicine, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal
3.
University Clinic of General and Family Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal
4.
CINTESIS – Centre for Research in Health Technologies and Service, Oporto, Portugal
5.
CEISUC – Centre for Health Studies and Investigation of the University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal
6.
Family Health Unit Topazio of the Health Care Groups Baixo Mondego, Coimbra, Portugal
Family Medicine & Primary Care Review 2021; 23(4): 488–493
Online publish date: 2021/12/30
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Background
Cardiovascular complications are the main causes of death for type 2 diabetes. Their relationship to socioeconomic factors, such as health literacy, is not well known.

Objectives
To study the relationship between health literacy and cardiovascular complications (acute myocardial infarction, cerebrovascular accident, transient ischemic attack and ischemic heart disease) in type 2 diabetes patients and to understand the relationship of type 2 diabetes mellitus associated cardiovascular disease with empowerment and therapy adherence.

Material and methods
A cross-sectional study with a convenience sample of people with type 2 diabetes in central Portugal. Socio--demographic and clinical characteristics (blood pressure, LDL cholesterol, hemoglobin A1c and history of cardiovascular diseases) were collected, and validated scales were applied to assess health literacy, adherence to therapy, empowerment and quality of life. Bivariate inferential analysis between literacy, other variables and cardiovascular diseases, with subsequent Logistic Regression, was performed.

Results
A sample of n = 202, mean age 68.11 ± 10.19 years, n = 116 (57.4%) males was studied. Higher health literacy was significantly associated with a lower prevalence of cardiovascular diseases (p = 0.015). This relationship was independent of the remaining variables (OR = 0.947; 95% CI: 0.913–0.982; p = 0.003). Significant relationships were demonstrated between cardiovascular disease and quality of life (p = 0.001), adherence to total therapy (p = 0.045), general diet (p = 0.002), physical activity (p = 0.027), age (p = 0.004) and LDL cholesterol (p = 0.036).

Conclusions
The independent relationship between health literacy and cardiovascular disease in people with type 2 diabetes, when confirmed, will indicate that health literacy promotion acts as an important health policy measure to be adopted.

keywords:

diabetes mellitus type 2, health literacy, self care, quality of life, empowerment, treatment adherence and compliance

 
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