235823 Temporal Nature of Health Risk Assessment: Lessons from College Students' Perceptions of Heart Disease Susceptibility

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Justin Dickerson, MBA , Department of Health Policy & Management, Texas A&M Health Science Center, School of Rural Public Health, College Station, TX
Matthew Lee Smith, PhD, MPH, CHES , Department of Health Promotion and Behavior, The University of Georgia, College of Public Health, Athens, GA
Erica T. Sosa, PhD , Health & Kinesiology, University of Texas - San Antonio, San Antonio, TX
E. Lisako J. McKyer, PhD, MPH , Department of Health & Kinesiology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
Marcia G. Ory, PhD, MPH , Social & Behavioral Health, Texas A&M HSC School of Rural Public Health, College Station, TX
Objectives To examine differences in temporal absolute health risk assessment by examining the perceived proximal and distal susceptibility to heart disease among college students. Methods A bivariate ordered probit regression model was used to simultaneously predict levels of perceived risk for both ten-year absolute risk of heart disease and lifetime absolute risk of heart disease. Results Ten-year absolute risk and lifetime absolute risk were both increased when the number of family members with heart disease increased (β = 0.229, p = 0.000 and β = 0.382, p = 0.000, respectively), and when the respondent attributed an increasing amount of their susceptibility to heart disease to genetic causes (β = 0.070, p = 0.006 and β = 0.079, p = 0.002, respectively). Ten-year absolute risk was higher if the respondent was non-white (β = 0.391, p = 0.001), but lower if the respondent had discussed family health history with their parents (β = -0.351, p = 0.042). Conclusion Temporality is a key consideration when determining the meaning of an individual's assessment of susceptibility to disease. As an example, college students' perceived risk of developing heart disease is influenced by different factors over the proximal and distal risk periods. Studies evaluating the utility of susceptibility as a predictor of changes in health behavior must consider the temporal perspective.

Learning Areas:
Chronic disease management and prevention
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Learner's will be able to evaluate the temporal nature of disease susceptibility. Learner's will be able to analyze correlated ordinal dependent variables

Keywords: Behavioral Research, College Students

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a doctoral candidate studying chronic disease management and health economics. I have had 5 manuscripts accepted for publication in peer reviewed journals in the last year. I have a significant amount of academic and professional experience in applied statistics.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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