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Coronary heart disease (CHD) may be clinically different in women when compared to men and, consequently, being underdiagnosed and under treated. Worldwide, heart disease are the leading cause of death in female gender, as mentioned by literature. Cardiovascular disease is closely linked to stress. Objective: This study aims to investigate the entire group of high performance policewomen who work in high-risk units located at underserved communities.
Observational and cross-sectional study of cardiovascular and stroke risk factors prevalence in all of policewomen population through an one-minute and anonymous questionnaire with 30 closed questions on self-knowledge of risk factors and cardiovascular health. The survey was performed with questions of fast answers, like yes or no, about age, stress level, tobacco smoke, hypertension, dyslipidemia, physical inactivity, obesity, diabetes and family history of CHD. A positive answer or the lack of knowledge are equivalent to a point. Those women who have had two or more positive answers or the lack of knowledge of any item were encouraged to complete the risk assessment in a healthcare unit as they were considered to be in a high risk group. The project is being implemented with completion scheduled for second half of this year.
There are 32 specialized performance units in which 602 women works. Preliminary results (n=400 women): Average age = 28.8 years. The high stress level was mentioned by 71% of policewomen. Tobacco use was found in 6% of this group; hypertension in 6% (lack of knowledge in 4%); 77% have already measured cholesterolemia (2% with >200 mg/dl, 88% and 97% did not know the blood level of total and HDL cholesterol, respectively); 80% have already measured glycemia (69% denied being diabetic and 29% unaware their condition); there were 18% of family history of CHD and stroke; 46% did not know the body mass index (BMI), after it was calculated 57% with BMI ≤25, 23% >25 and ≤30; 52% physical inactivity; 92% denied preview CHD. It was established that 97% of the interviewed policewomen obtained ≥2 positive answer or the lack of any item. It was observed that most of them used to visit the gynecologist (89%) but in contrast only 11% did it to a cardiologist.
About three quarters of the interviewed women demonstrated high cardiovascular risk factors prevalence by achieving ≥2 positive answers or ignoring the answer of any of the question and high stress level activity. They must be warned and encouraged to complete their risk assessment in a healthcare unit.