Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta members, Dr. Kathryn King and Dr. Hude Quan were successful in landing a four year Canadian Institutes of Health Research grant in the CIHR’s most recent round of funding. Read about their application below:
Ethnic and sex differences in presentation of acute coronary syndromes and in accessing cardiac care
People often recognize that pain or pressure in the middle of the chest may be heart symptoms. It is very important that people suffering from these symptoms recognize that they should seek medical attention quickly. People may have different or unusual (atypical) symptoms of these problems based on their ethnicity and/or sex. This can lead to them taking much longer to get the care they need, and may result in more damage being done to their hearts or them dying unnecessarily. We will interview 1827 men and women of different ethnic backgrounds (European–Caucasian; Chinese, and South Asian) who have been admitted to hospital in Toronto, Vancouver or Calgary with chest pain or heart attack. We will ask them questions about their symptoms (i.e., Where was your pain/discomfort?, What other symptoms did you have?, Was the chief or main symptom?). We will also ask them about the process of getting to the hospital (i.e., How long did you have symptoms before you went to the hospital?, Did you see a health care provider for these symptoms within 72 hours before going to hospital?, If so, who did you see?, Who brought you to the hospital?). We will also ask more ‘open-ended’ questions to determine how, why or the context in which their behaviours/decisions occurred. Interviews will be conducted in English, Cantonese, Mandarin, Punjabi, Tamil, Urdu, Hindi or Gujarati. Finally, once the person is discharged from hospital, we will look at their health record to collect information about their illness and treatments received while in hospital. We aim to compare this information between the ethnic groups (and between men and women within each ethnic group) to see if there are differences based on ethnicity and sex. If there are differences, we will describe them. This information will be helpful to men and women from each ethnic group when trying to make a decision about seeking health care and to health care providers when these people arrive at their offices or hospital.