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The research question for this study was: Are there within-group disparities in Hispanic women’s knowledge of heart attack and stroke symptomology?
Hispanics constitute the fastest growing group in the US and have surpassed other racial and ethnic groups to become the largest US minority. Hispanics make up about one-third of the US population, and hence are a group of significant interest for health care providers. Few studies have examined heart attack and stroke symptom awareness among adult Hispanic women, a group at high risk for delays in treatment. Research is needed to elucidate their knowledge of warning symptoms for these vascular events.
Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey data from states using the 2003–2005 Heart and Stroke module were examined by multivariate techniques. To maximize the representativeness of the sample, three years of survey data (2003–2005) were amalgamated into a single dataset. If a given state administered the Heart and Stroke module in multiple years, only the data from the most recent year were included in the merged dataset. In the final analysis, data from 23 states, one territory and the District of Columbia were included in the combined 2003–2005 database. The unweighted sample size for the population of interest for the years 2003–2005 was 3146. For analysis these data were weighted to represent 2 641 024 Hispanic women aged 18 years and older who answered questions about heart attack and stroke symptoms.
Adult Hispanic women earning low scores on the heart attack and stroke knowledge questions were more likely to have less than a high school education, be uninsured, live in a household with an annual income of <$35 000 and not have a primary care provider.
These results suggest that strategies to educate Hispanic women on signs and symptoms of heart attack and stroke might benefit from targeting women in these groups.
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