Health Attitudes and Beliefs Among Hypertensive Subjects: A Study of the Hellenic Atherosclerosis Society

Evangelos Polychronopoulos1, Ekavi N. Georgousopoulou1, Tonia Vassilakou2, Christos Pitsavos3, Christina Chrysohoou3, Vassilios Athyros4, John Goudevenos5, Demosthenes B. Panagiotakos1, *
1 Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Harokopio University, Athens, Greece
2 Department of Nutrition and Biochemistry, National School of Public Health, Athens, Greece
3 First Cardiology Clinic, School of Medicine, University of Athens, Athens, Greece
4 Second Propedeutic Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece
4 Cardiology Clinic, School of Medicine, University of Ioannina, Ioannina, Greece

© 2014 Polychronopoulos et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Harokopio University, Athens, 46 Paleon Polemiston St., 166 74, Glyfada, Greece; Tel: +30210-9603116; Fax: +30210-9600719; E-mail:



Health attitudes and beliefs have long been associated with lower risk of various diseases, better compliance to medication and less likelihood of relapsing. The aim of this work was to study health beliefs and attitudes of hypertensive subjects in relation to the management of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors.


The Hellenic Atherosclerosis Society ran a project where during 2006-2012, 10,141 individuals (39 ± 15 years, 47% men, i.e., 0.01% of the Greek population), from all areas of the country, were voluntarily enrolled and participated into a face-toface interview that gathered information about their beliefs and attitudes on diet, smoking and physical activity, as well as management of CVD disorders.


Self-reported prevalence of hypertension was 16.7% in men and 13.2% in women. Hypertensive subjects had lower educational level than non-hypertensive (11 ± 5 vs. 13 ± 4.5 years of school, p<0.001). Hypertensive participants as compared to normotensive seemed not to accept that unhealthy diet which consists of a major CVD risk factor (16.2% vs. 23.1%, p<0.001); and they believed more in the effect of pharmaceutical medication than in healthy lifestyle.


There is need for more effective health strategies in order to convince people, especially those with cardiometabolic disorders, on the importance of the modifiable CVD risk factors.

Keywords: Attitudes, cluster analysis, health beliefs, hypertension.