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Some U.S. Adults Unaware of Any Myocardial Infarction Symptoms

About 20 percent of adults not aware of the three most common symptoms of myocardial infarction

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FRIDAY, Dec. 20, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- A considerable proportion of U.S. adults are unaware of some or all of the symptoms of myocardial infarction (MI), according to a study published online Dec. 18 in JAMA Network Open.

Shiwani Mahajan, M.B.B.S., from Yale New Haven Health in Connecticut, and colleagues examined variation and disparities in awareness of MI symptoms among U.S. adults using data from the 2017 National Health Interview Survey.

The researchers found that among 25,271 individuals, 91.8, 87.0, 85.7, 77.0, and 62.6 percent considered chest pain or discomfort; shortness of breath; pain or discomfort in arm; feeling weak, lightheaded, or faint; and jaw, neck, or back pain as symptoms, respectively. Fifty-three percent of adults were aware of all five symptoms, while 20.3 and 5.8 percent were not aware of the three most common symptoms or of any symptoms, respectively. Being unaware of any symptoms correlated with male sex, Hispanic ethnicity, not having been born in the United States, and having a lower education level (odds ratios, 1.23, 1.89, 1.85, and 1.31, respectively). In response to MI, 4.5 percent of individuals chose a response other than calling emergency medical services.

"These findings highlight the need for targeted educational campaigns to not only improve awareness of MI symptoms but also emphasize the importance of early access to emergency medical care across all sociodemographic subgroups," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.

Abstract/Full Text

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