Older, Hypertensive, and Hypercholesterolemic Fairgoers Visit more Booths and Differ in Their Health Concerns at a Community Health Fair
- Cite this article as:
- Mess, S.E., Reese, P.P., Della Lana, D.F. et al. Journal of Community Health (2000) 25: 315. doi:10.1023/A:1005164427176
The purpose of this study was to determine whether persons attending a community health fair had different health concerns and booth visitation patterns based on their risk factor profiles. All fairgoers were encouraged to complete an anonymous survey of demographic information, top 4 health concerns, and selected cardiac risk factors. Over the five-hour duration of the fair, 329 surveys were collected from about 450 fairgoers. There were no exclusion criteria for the survey. The fair was sponsored by the Maryland Chapter of the American College of Physicians, organized by medical students from the University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins University, and included 23 booths on a variety of health topics. Older fairgoers and fairgoers with a self-reported history of high blood pressure or elevated cholesterol showed an increased interest in hypertension and heart disease (p < 0.05). Older fairgoers also showed an increased interest in health topics related to aging, such as estrogen replacement therapy and geriatric medicine. Older, hypertensive and hypercholesterolemic fairgoers visited an increased mean number of total booths when compared to other respondents (p < 0.05). Most booths reported a higher percentage of older, hypertensive, and hypercholesterolemic visitors than the overall percentage of fairgoers who reported these risk factors. These results suggest that booth visitation patterns of health fair participants may be viewed as a deliberate attempt by at-risk populations to access health information particular to their needs.