Disparities in Awareness of Myocardial Infarction and Stroke Symptoms and Response Among United States- and Foreign-Born Adults in the National Health Interview Survey

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J Am Heart Assoc. 2021 Nov 30:e020396. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.121.020396. Online ahead of print.


Background Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, defined as nonfatal myocardial infarction (MI), coronary heart disease death, or fatal or nonfatal stroke, is the leading cause of death in the United States. MI and stroke symptom awareness and response reduce delays in hospitalization and mortality. Methods and Results We analyzed cross-sectional data from the 2014 and 2017 National Health Interview Surveys on US- and foreign-born adults from 9 regions of birth (Europe, South America, Mexico/Central America/Caribbean, Russia, Africa, Middle East, Indian subcontinent, Asia, and Southeast Asia). The outcomes were recommended MI and stroke knowledge, defined as knowing all 5 symptoms of MI or stroke, respectively, and choosing “call 9-1-1” as the best response. We included 63 059 participants, with a mean age 49.4 years; 54.1% were women, and 38.5% had a high school education or less. Recommended MI and stroke knowledge were highest in US-born people. In both 2014 and 2017, MI knowledge was lowest in individuals born in Asia (23.9%±2.5% and 32.1%±3.3%, respectively), and stroke knowledge lowest for the Indian subcontinent (44.4%±2.4% and 46.0%±3.2%, respectively). Among foreign-born adults, people from Russia and Europe had the highest prevalence of recommended MI knowledge in 2014 (37.4%±5.4%) and 2017 (43.5%±2.5%), respectively, and recommended stroke knowledge was highest in people from Europe (61.0%±2.6% and 67.2%±2.5%). Improvement in knowledge was not significant in all groups between 2014 and 2017. Conclusions These findings suggest a disparity in MI and stroke symptom awareness and response among immigrants in the United States. Culturally tailored public health education and health literacy initiatives are needed to help reduce these disparities in awareness.

PMID:34845927 | DOI:10.1161/JAHA.121.020396