Effect of Knowledge About Cardiovascular Diseases on Healthy Lifestyle Behavior Among Freshmen of Zagazig University: An Intervention Study

Naglaa M. Abdo1, *, Eman M. Mortada1, 2, Omnia S. El Seifi1
1 Department of Community, Environmental and Occupational Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Zagazig University, Zagazig City, Arab Republic of Egypt
2 College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University, Riyadh city, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

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Creative Commons License
© 2019 Abdo 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 Community, Environmental and Occupational Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Zagazig University, Zagazig City, Arab Republic of Egypt; Tel: + 965-69607730;



Educating the younger population about cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) and promoting their healthy lifestyle behavior are essential preventive approaches.


To assess the knowledge about CVDs and healthy lifestyle behavior among freshmen college students, before and after the application of an educational program.


A pre-test/post-test 6-month interventional educational study was conducted on first-year, Faculty of Science, Zagazig University students. Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors Knowledge Level (CARRF-KL) and Healthy Lifestyle Behavior (HLSBS-II) scales were completed by the students before and after the intervention. The intervention included lectures, group discussions, and the participants’ preparation of action plans to change unhealthy lifestyle behaviors.


In the pre-intervention phase, 58.3% of the participants had “adequate” knowledge about CVDs and their mean total HLSBS-II score was 98.35 ± 6.50. Following the intervention, 99.2% of the participants acquired “adequate” knowledge about CVDs, with significant improvement in all aspects of the CARRF-KL score, p < 0.001. The “health responsibility” and “nutritional habits” subscale scores of the HLSBS-II improved significantly, p < 0.01. Participants with CVDs and/or positive family history had significantly higher total mean CARRF-KL scores than those without personal or family history of CVDs, p < 0.05. The total CARRF-KL showed a significant positive correlation with “health responsibility” and “nutritional habits” HLSBS-II subscales (p < 0.05).


The applied educational program effectively improved the participants’ knowledge about CVDs and empowered them to improve their health responsibility and nutritional habits. Health education and promotion programs should be implemented and integrated within the curriculum of university students.

Keywords: Health responsibility, Nutritional habits, Cardiovascular diseases risk factors, College students, Freshmen students, CARRF-KL Scale.