Ethnicity affects timing and access to cardiac care

May 5, 2009

Ethnicity is having a significant impact on timely access to cardiac care in Calgary and likely across Canada as the population's ethnic diversity grows, according to new research led by a team from the University of Calgary.

An article in the current issue of The suggests there are ethnic differences in pre-hospital recognition of symptoms and access to care, as well as the care pathway once the patient is hospitalized.

"There are ethnic variations in symptoms that, when combined with some other factors, may increase the time it takes to get effective treatment," says the Faculty of Nursing's Kathryn King, who headed up the team. Caucasians are more likely to experience only central chest pain while South Asian report their symptoms over a larger area of their body. In addition, being non-English speaking was a barrier to care access in this study.

"Chinese patients were least likely to speak English and that could be an obstacle to receipt of care," says King. "Significantly, Caucasian patients were more likely to undergo angiography or medical imaging of the heart within three hours of arriving at emergency than their ethnic counterparts."

The study involved auditing the health records of 406 patients chosen at random representing people with Chinese, South Asian, Southeast Asian, First Nations and Caucasian backgrounds.

"What it means is that both patients and clinicians need to be aware of ethnic variation in symptoms," says King. "Patients need to know both the classic and atypical presentations of AMI (Acute ) and emergency department staff need to recognize them."

Alberta Health Services (AHS) recognizes cultural diversity issues in the province and is addressing it, says co- principal investigator Hude Quan from the U of C's Department of Community Health Sciences. "AHS provides
interpretation services and offers an annual diversity and well-being conference to enhance the diversity competency of those working in the health system."

King is proposing to broaden the study to include Toronto and Vancouver and a total of 1,900 patients from nine hospitals within the three Canadian cities. "Then we can examine the influence of ethnicity on processes
of cardiac care and outcomes across Canada with more conclusive results."

King will also be presenting her group's findings later this month at the Canadian Association for Health Services and Policy Research annual conference in Calgary.

Source: University of Calgary (news : web)

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Drug therapy from lethal bacteria could reduce kidney transplant rejection

August 3, 2017
An experimental treatment derived from a potentially deadly microorganism may provide lifesaving help for kidney transplant patients, according to an international study led by investigators at Cedars-Sinai.

Exploring the potential of human echolocation

June 25, 2017
People who are visually impaired will often use a cane to feel out their surroundings. With training and practice, people can learn to use the pitch, loudness and timbre of echoes from the cane or other sounds to navigate ...

Team eradicates hepatitis C in 10 patients following lifesaving transplants from infected donors

April 30, 2017
Ten patients at Penn Medicine have been cured of the Hepatitis C virus (HCV) following lifesaving kidney transplants from deceased donors who were infected with the disease. The findings point to new strategies for increasing ...

'bench to bedside to bench': Scientists call for closer basic-clinical collaborations

March 24, 2017
In the era of genome sequencing, it's time to update the old "bench-to-bedside" shorthand for how basic research discoveries inform clinical practice, researchers from The Jackson Laboratory (JAX), National Human Genome Research ...

The ethics of tracking athletes' biometric data

January 18, 2017
(Medical Xpress)—Whether it is a FitBit or a heart rate monitor, biometric technologies have become household devices. Professional sports leagues use some of the most technologically advanced biodata tracking systems to ...

Financial ties between researchers and drug industry linked to positive trial results

January 18, 2017
Financial ties between researchers and companies that make the drugs they are studying are independently associated with positive trial results, suggesting bias in the evidence base, concludes a study published by The BMJ ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.