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Awareness of heart attack symptoms and the best response is a national public health priority, especially among those at higher risk of heart disease. Adults with sensory loss are more likely to develop heart disease than those without and may be at risk of poor heart attack knowledge owing to limited patient-provider communication and access to health information. The aim of this study is to examine the association between sensory loss and heart attack knowledge. Cross-sectional, nationally representative data from the 2014 and 2017 National Health Interview Survey were used. Analyses were conducted in 2021. Participants aged ≥20 years were included (N=61,168). Being aware of heart attack symptoms and the best response was considered as recognizing the 5 examined symptoms of heart attacks and the proper emergency response, as defined in the Healthy People 2020 objectives. Functional hearing and vision losses were defined as self-reported difficulty in hearing and seeing. Overall, 16.2% reported functional hearing loss, and 10.1% reported vision loss. Having vision loss was associated with a lack of knowledge of heart attacks symptoms or the best response (prevalence ratio=1.08, 95% CI=1.06, 1.11). In a separate model, having vision loss only and dual sensory loss (concurrent vision and hearing loss) were associated with not having this knowledge (prevalence ratio=1.09, 95% CI=1.06, 1.12 and PR=1.08, 95% CI=1.01, 1.15, respectively), but having hearing loss only was not (prevalence ratio=1.03, 95% CI=0.99, 1.06). Non-institutionalized adults with sensory loss may represent a group to target for improving the knowledge of heart attacks in the population. Copyright © 2021 American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Lama Assi, Elsa Salim Karam, Bonnielin K Swenor, Jennifer A Deal, Amber Willink, Nicholas S Reed. Association of Sensory Loss With the Knowledge of Heart Attacks. American journal of preventive medicine. 2022 Feb;62(2):265-269

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PMID: 34625309

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