Mismatch between self-perceived and calculated cardiometabolic disease risk among participants in a prevention program for cardiometabolic disease: A cross-sectional study

D. M. Stol, M. Hollander, O. C. Damman, M. M.J. Nielen, I. F. Badenbroek, F. G. Schellevis, N. J. De Wit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The rising prevalence of cardiometabolic diseases (CMD) calls for effective prevention programs. Self-assessment of CMD risk, for example through an online risk score (ORS), might induce risk reducing behavior. However, the concept of disease risk is often difficult for people to understand. Therefore, the study objective was to assess the impact of communicating an individualized CMD risk score through an ORS on perceived risk and to identify risk factors and demographic characteristics associated with risk perception among high-risk participants of a prevention program for CMD. Methods: A cross-sectional analysis of baseline data from a randomized controlled trial conducted in a primary care setting. Seven thousand five hundred forty-seven individuals aged 45-70 years without recorded CMD, hypertension or hypercholesterolemia participated. The main outcome measures were: 1) differences in cognitive and affective risk perception between the intervention group - who used an ORS and received an individualized CMD risk score- and the control group who answered questions about CMD risk, but did not receive an individualized CMD risk score; 2) risk factors and demographic characteristics associated with risk perception. Results: No differences were found in cognitive and affective risk perception between the intervention and control group and risk perception was on average low, even among high-risk participants. A positive family history for diabetes type 2 (β0.56, CI95% 0.39-0.73) and cardiovascular disease (β0.28, CI95% 0.13-0.43), BMI ≥25 (β0.27, CI95% 0.12-0.43), high waist circumference (β0.25, CI95% 0.02-0.48) and physical inactivity (β0.30, CI95% 0.16-0.45) were positively associated with cognitive CMD risk perception in high-risk participants. No other risk factors or demographic characteristics were associated with risk perception. Conclusions: Communicating an individualized CMD risk score did not affect risk perception. A mismatch was found between calculated risk and self-perceived risk in high-risk participants. Family history and BMI seem to affect the level of CMD risk perception more than risk factors such as sex, age and smoking. A dialogue about personal CMD risk between patients and health care professionals might optimize the effect of the provided risk information. Trial registration: Dutch trial Register number NTR4277, registered 26th Nov 2013.

Original languageEnglish
Article number740
JournalBMC public health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 20 May 2020


  • Cardiometabolic diseases
  • Early detection
  • Prevention
  • Primary care
  • Risk communication
  • Risk perception
  • Risk score

Cite this