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Assessing the Associations Between Awareness of Myocardial Infarction Symptoms, Socioeconomic Factors, and Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors Through Regression Models


There are few studies that consider the association between awareness of symptoms of acute myocardial infarction (MI), socioeconomic factors (household income, sex, race/ethnicity, and educational attainment), and cardiovascular (CVD) risk factors. It is important to understand these associations because there is evidence that suggests that disparities in the awareness of MI symptoms lead to disparities in delays in receiving treatment and outcomes of patients with MI. The study was to determine if there are disparities in the awareness of different MI symptoms among different groups with respect to self-reported race, ethnicity, education, age, and income (i.e., various SES factors) in the presence/absence of modifiable cardiovascular disease risk factors. We utilized the 2003–2009 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey, a nationally representative telephone-based survey, to evaluate the relationships between five common symptoms of MI, socioeconomic factors, and four major modifiable CVD risk factors. We found that being college-educated, a higher household income, making $75,000 a year or more, being female, being non-Hispanic White, having hypertension, and exercising regularly were generally associated with a higher probability of being aware of the MI symptoms evaluated in this study. Additionally, awareness that jaw/back/neck pain and feeling weak/light-headed/faint are symptoms of MI were found to be consistently lower compared to that of other MI symptoms, ranging from 50 to 75%, across all SES factors and CVD risk factors. The findings from this study can serve as a useful guide to facilitating targeted educational efforts aimed at improving awareness of MI symptoms that may ultimately reduce disparities in the outcomes of patients at risk for MI.

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Correspondence to Phoebe Tran.

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Tran, P., Mittleman, M.A. Assessing the Associations Between Awareness of Myocardial Infarction Symptoms, Socioeconomic Factors, and Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors Through Regression Models. J. Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities 4, 957–966 (2017).

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  • Health awareness
  • Disparities
  • Myocardial infarction symptoms