Perceived Threat of a Heart Attack among Mexican Americans with Cardiovascular Disease Risk
MetadataShow full item record
Compared to the general population, Mexican Americans are at greater risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) events, such as heart attack, due to the high prevalence of risk factors. This qualitative descriptive study explored knowledge of heart attack symptoms and risk factors; perceptions of risk, susceptibility, and seriousness; where health information is obtained; and the likelihood of seeking immediate medical assistance for heart attack symptoms among Mexican Americans with CVD risk factors. A purposive sample of 19 Mexican American adults with CVD risk factors were interviewed. Overall participants were knowledgeable that chest pain is a heart attack symptom; however, many also reported irrelevant symptoms or confused heart attack with stroke symptoms. Participants were more knowledgeable about heart attack risk factors; however, only ten participants believed they were at risk of having a heart attack in their lifetime. Perceptions of lifetime heart attack risk were ascribed to personal attributes and not taking care of themselves. Healthcare providers had not told more than half of participants about their heart attack risk, despite that all were at either moderate or high risk for a 5-year CVD event. Barriers to seeking immediate medical assistance for suspected heart attack symptoms included not being able to get help or transportation issues. The majority of participants recognized the importance of seeking medical assistance for heart attack symptoms; however, more than half did not identify calling 911 as their first action if they thought they were experiencing heart attack symptoms. Based on the findings, the study sample required additional information about heart attack symptoms, individual risk factors, and the actions they should take if they experience heart attack symptoms.
Acute Myocardial Infarction
Knowledge of Symptoms and Risk Factors