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Lifestyle behaviors associated with secondary prevention of coronary heart disease among California adults.

  • Author(s): Bellow, Andrew;
  • Epstein, Joan Faith;
  • Parikh-Patel, Arti
  • et al.


Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. People diagnosed with coronary heart disease (CHD) are at an increased risk for illness and death. To reduce this risk, it is recommended that people who are diagnosed with CHD improve their health behaviors. The objective of this study was to assess the prevalence of associated lifestyle risk behaviors among California adults who have CHD.


From 2005 through 2008, the California Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System collected data regarding previous diagnosis of cardiovascular diseases. We used these data to generate descriptive statistics to characterize the risk behaviors among people who had been diagnosed with CHD compared with people who had not, and developed multivariate logistic models to control for confounding variables.


Of total respondents, 5% reported previous diagnosis of CHD. Of respondents with CHD, three-quarters were not eating a healthful amount of fruits and vegetables, 66% were overweight or obese, 55% did not engage in regular physical activity, and nearly 15% were smokers. When we controlled for confounding variables, respondents who had been previously diagnosed with CHD were more likely than respondents who had not been diagnosed with CHD to be overweight or obese, to not exercise on a regular basis, and to be current smokers.


Adults in California with CHD are engaging in behaviors that put them at higher risk of illness and premature death. To lower death rates due to CHD, more public health efforts should target this population.

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