Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

VA Health Systems Research

Go to the VA ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Post-9/11 veterans' heart disease knowledge, self-perceived risk, and prevention beliefs and behaviors.

Gaffey AE, Haskell SG, Brandt CA, Bastian LA, Meadows JL, Burg MM. Post-9/11 veterans' heart disease knowledge, self-perceived risk, and prevention beliefs and behaviors. Health psychology : official journal of the Division of Health Psychology, American Psychological Association. 2021 Nov 1; 40(11):737-746.

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


OBJECTIVE: Veterans, including the growing number of women veterans, have a greater risk of heart disease than nonveterans, and the incidence of heart disease is increasing among the most recent veterans who participated in post-9/11 military conflicts. Investigating heart disease-related knowledge, self-perceived risk, and prevention beliefs and behavior among these veterans, and identifying potential differences in knowledge, risk, beliefs and behavior between men and women, may guide prevention strategies. METHOD: Cross-sectional data from a nationwide survey of 1,141 (53% women) post-9/11 veterans were used to examine heart disease awareness and information-seeking, perceived risk and importance of heart disease risk factors, beliefs about traditional (e.g., weight, blood pressure) and nontraditional (e.g., stress, sleep) factors, and engagement in prevention behaviors. Differences between men and women were also tested, using t-tests, chi-square, and Fisher''s exact tests. RESULTS: Only one-third reported they felt very informed or sought information about heart disease, or that their providers had discussed heart disease with them. Although veterans generally believe that addressing traditional and nontraditional factors can reduce their risk of heart disease, far fewer endorsed the value of mental health treatment in prevention. Overall, women were slightly more knowledgeable about heart disease risk, and of behaviors that can lower this risk, but for both men and women, this knowledge did not translate to engaging in equivalent prevention behaviors. CONCLUSIONS: Post-9/11 veterans, and potentially their providers, may each benefit from improved education regarding their risk of heart disease. Veterans may also require better, more personalized approaches to prevention. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).

Questions about the HSR website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.