Home Institution

DePauw University

Publication Date

Spring 2017

Program Name

Switzerland: Global Health and Development Policy

Abstract

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) represents a threat to both the economic and social well being of Switzerland. Cardiovascular disease is easily a preventable disease, yet continues to take over the world. One’s ability to read and comprehend health information from medical professionals is a vital component of maintaining and improving an individuals’ overall health. Health literacy can have an impact on the effectiveness of preventive interventions in health behaviors and the success of health outcomes. Studies have shown that well-educated and financially improved persons have a higher health competence than lower educated persons.1 Given that cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death in the developed country of Switzerland, it is evident that the prevention of the disease is affected by health education.

The lifestyle behaviors and foundations of adult health are laid in early life, especially for cardiovascular disease patients. Cardiovascular disease prevention strategies must go beyond addressing the environmental, political and social factors that determine the risk of CVD, but the need to address health education, health literacy, health communication and individual health behaviors.2 Health literacy is a necessary ingredient for improved community, greater adherence to cardiovascular treatment regimens, greater ability to engage in appropriate self-care, improve health status, and greater efficiency and cost savings to the health system as a whole.3 In this study, I have examined the relationship between health literacy and health outcomes, especially regarding cardiovascular disease (and its risk factors), to determine if higher health literacy skills in elderly patients are correlated with successful prevention and interventions strategies.

Disciplines

Community Health | Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Medical Education | Mental and Social Health | Other Public Health | Public Health | Public Health Education and Promotion