Abstract 3305: Korean Immigrants’ Knowledge of AMI Symptoms and Risk Factors
Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) is a significant problem for immigrants in the U.S.; however, little is known about their knowledge of cardiovascular (CVD) risk factors and symptoms.
PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to assess the knowledge of heart attack symptoms and risk factors among Korean immigrants.
METHOD: A convenience sample of 116 Korean immigrants in a Midwestern metropolitan area were recruited through Korean churches and markets. Subjects completed a questionnaire in the Korean language and were asked to identify symptoms and risk factors that were associated with a heart attack from a list of possible symptoms and risk factors.
SAMPLE: The sample was primarily female (58.6%), had at least a high school degree (85%), had one or more self-reported risk factors (76.5%), 40% had lived in the U.S. longer than 20 years, and 53% did not have regular health care.
RESULTS: Subjects were able to identify a mean of 5.1 of the 10 AMI symptoms (SD = 1.6) and a mean of 5.8 of the 10 AMI risk factors (SD = 2.1). Latent class cluster analysis was used to determine the number of clusters for knowledge of symptoms and risk factors. There were two clusters for knowledge of AMI symptoms. Subjects in Symptom Cluster 1 (n=29.3%) had higher knowledge of AMI symptoms (M=7.5, SD = 1.7) than subjects in Symptom Cluster 2 (n=70.7%; M=4.9, SD = 2.4; p<.001). The only symptom that both Clusters had a high probability of recognizing was chest pain. Few subjects were able to recognize fatigue, sweating, weakness, or discomfort in locations other than chest. There were also 2 clusters for knowledge of AMI risk factors. Subjects in Risk Cluster 1 (n=52.5%) had higher knowledge of AMI risk factors (M=8.2. SD = 1.4) than subjects in Risk Cluster 2 (n=47.5%; M=3.3, SD=1.8; p<.001). Subjects who were younger, had higher education, and a family history of a heart attack were more likely to be in Risk Cluster 1.
CONCLUSION: The results demonstrate that most Korean immigrants have limited knowledge of AMI symptoms other than chest discomfort. Almost 50% of the sample was severely limited in their knowledge of risk factors. Recognition of diabetes was particularly problematic for this population. Alternative strategies for education are needed due to language and health care access barriers.