Self-perceived risk for cardiovascular diseases and preferences for risk information

To be successful in preventing and treating chronic diseases it is necessary to mobilize the individual. Understanding personal risk can be a good place to start that process. However, individuals can have difficulties in understanding their personal risk and risk information can provoke negative emotions in the individual.

This PhD project will investigate different perspectives of risk perception regarding heart disease using a multimethod approach that includes empirical methods such as survey, focus groups interviewing and discrete choice experiments. It also includes a theoretical study discussing ethical perspectives on cardiovascular risk perception and risk information using critical argumentation.

The target group will be individuals participating in the Swedish Cardiopulmonary BioImage Study (SCAPIS). These participants are men and woman between 50-64 years of age randomly selected from the Swedish population. In SCAPIS the participants go through thorough health examinations that among other things, include new imaging technologies. After their participation, all participants receive a report that consists results from some of the examinations.


This PhD project will investigate how research participants perceive their personal risk for cardiovascular disease, and their perceptions on cardiovascular risk information.


Cardiovascular diseases, or CVD’s, are sometimes described as abstract concepts: They are caused by multiple factors.  They also develop over long periods of time To be effective in preventing chronic diseases, practice shared decision-making, or in preference studies, it is important to understand personal risk.

Diseases of heart and vessels,(for example heart attack, heart failure and stroke), are the number one cause of death globally and are to great extent caused by factors people are able to influence and modify themselves. Mortality rates for heart disease between socioeconomic groups. This means that prevention is of great importance for achieving health equality.


The PHD project is funded by the Swedish Heart and Lung Fondation's SCAPIS project.


Åsa Grauman, MA, PhD student


  • Mats G. Hansson, Professor of Biomedical Ethics
  • Jorien Veldwijk, PhD Risk Economics
  • Stefan James, MD, Professor of Cardiology, Department of Medical Sciences, Uppsala University & Uppsala Clilnical Research Center