Cardiovascular disease risk perceptions and tobacco use among Appalachian youth

Osayande Agbonlahor, Jayesh Rai, Delvon T. Mattingly, Joy L. Hart, Kandi L. Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


INTRODUCTION Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a critical public health issue, with tobacco smoking the leading preventable cause. Perceptions of CVD risk in specific populations may differ by tobacco use status, potentially necessitating customized tobacco prevention measures. METHODS Using data from the Youth Appalachian Tobacco Study (n=1104), CVD risk perceptions were defined by responses to three statements: ‘smoking causes heart disease’, ‘smoking causes strokes’ and ‘smoking causes high blood pressure’. Tobacco use status was characterized as never users, ever cigarette users, and ever non-cigarette users. Sociodemographic differences in CVD risk perceptions and tobacco use status were evaluated. Logistic regression analyses, adjusted for gender, race/ethnicity, and household tobacco use, were conducted. RESULTS Among the sample, 24.1% were ever cigarette users and 10.1% were ever non-cigarette users. Compared to never users, ever cigarette users had higher odds of disagreeing that smoking causes heart disease (AOR=1.83; 95% CI: 1.23–2.73), stroke (AOR=1.54; 95% CI: 1.08-2.18) and hypertension (AOR=1.41; 95% CI: 1.00–1.99). White youth (vs racial/ethnic minorities) had fewer odds of disagreeing that smoking causes hypertension (AOR=0.44; 95% CI: 0.29–0.68), and females (vs males) had fewer odds of disagreeing that smoking causes heart disease (AOR=0.69; 95% CI: 0.48–0.99). CONCLUSIONS Among Appalachian youth, CVD risk perceptions differed by tobacco use status and sociodemographic groups, such as race/ethnicity and gender. Findings from this study may be helpful in development of tobacco prevention efforts, such as health messaging for Appalachian youth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalPopulation Medicine
StatePublished - Nov 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021. Agbonlahor O. et al. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial 4.0 International License. (].


  • Appalachia
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Cigarette
  • E-cigarette
  • Tobacco
  • Youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health Policy
  • Health Informatics
  • Epidemiology
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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