Heart Attack Symptom Knowledge among Hispanics in the United States

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Heart attacks cause significant preventable morbidity and mortality among Hispanics in the United States. We examined the relationship between immigration status, acculturative variables, and heart attack symptom knowledge among Hispanics. Using 2014 and 2017 National Health Interview Survey data, we examined the following heart attack symptoms as our dependent variables: 1) chest discomfort; 2) jaw, neck, and back pain, and 3) arm and or shoulder pain. These symptoms were then analyzed by immigration status: US-born, naturalized citizens, and non-citizens. We calculated descriptive statistics and adjusted rate ratios. Naturalized and non-citizens had a lower prevalence than US-born Hispanics of correctly identifying any heart attack symptoms. All groups had the lowest prevalence of correctly identifying jaw, neck, and back pain as heart attack symptoms. After adjusting for demographic and socioeconomic variables, naturalized and non-citizens had a lower rate of correctly identifying any of the heart attack symptoms compared to US-born Hispanics. Heart attack educational campaigns and providers need to emphasize all heart attack symptoms, among all three groups of Hispanics, particularly among naturalized and non-citizens. Jaw, back, and neck pain were the symptoms least correctly identified in this population. Heart attack symptom knowledge should be bolstered to improve the health of Hispanics regardless of immigration status.