Background: The relationship between socioeconomic status (SES) and knowledge of cardiovascular risk factors remains unknown in a general Japanese population. Methods: Of 8,815 participants from 300 randomly selected areas throughout Japan, 2,467 participants who were free of cardiovascular disease and who provided information on SES in the National Health and Nutrition Survey of Japan 2010 were enrolled in this cross-sectional analysis. SES was classified according to the employment status, length of education, marital and living statuses, and equivalent household expenditure (EHE). Outcomes were ignorance of each cardiovascular risk factor (hypertension, diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, low high-density lipoprotein [HDL] cholesterol, arrhythmia, and smoking) and insufficient knowledge (number of correct answers <4 out of 6). Results: A short education and low EHE were significantly associated with a greater ignorance of most cardiovascular risk factors. A short education (<10 years) was also associated with insufficient knowledge of overall cardiovascular risk factors: age-and sex-adjusted odds ratios (OR) were 1.92 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.51–2.45) relative to participants with ≥13 years of education. Low EHE was also associated with insufficient knowledge (age-and sex-adjusted OR 1.24; 95% CI, 1.01–1.51 for the lowest quintile vs the upper 4 quintiles). These relationships remained significant, even after further adjustments for regular exercise, smoking, weekly alcohol consumption, body mass index, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, hypercholesterolemia, and low HDL cholesterol. Conclusion: Participants with a short education and low EHE were more likely to have less knowledge of cardiovascular risk factors.
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