Patients with language barriers take almost twice as long to get to the hospital

May 12, 2011, American Heart Association

Researchers analyzed English comprehension among 210 patients at four New York City hospitals who suffered heart attacks with a heart artery completely blocked. Doctors often refer to this type of heart attack as a STEMI, for ST-elevation myocardial infarction.

In follow-up telephone interviews, 34 of the patients (16.2 percent) spoke no English (65 percent spoke Spanish; 6 percent Russian; 6 percent Chinese; 23 percent spoke another language).

The patients who reported they understood no English took almost twice as long to get to the hospital compared to those who considered their English fluency fair or good. Adjusting for age, gender, ethnicity, education level and existence of other illnesses, the inability to understand English remained a strong determinant of how long it took patients to get to the hospital.

Researchers conclude the results underscore a need for more multi-lingual education on heart attacks, symptoms and the importance of calling 9-1-1 and getting to the hospital quickly. They also recommend multi-lingual emergency lines so that non-English speakers can get the information they need quickly.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Group suggests pushing age of adolescence to 24

January 22, 2018
A small group of researchers with the Royal Children's Hospital in Australia is suggesting that it might be time to change the span of years that define adolescence—from the current 10 to 19 to a proposed 10 to 24 years ...

Women run faster after taking newly developed supplement, study finds

January 19, 2018
A new study found that women who took a specially prepared blend of minerals and nutrients for a month saw their 3-mile run times drop by almost a minute.

Americans are getting more sleep

January 19, 2018
Although more than one in three Americans still don't get enough sleep, a new analysis shows first signs of success in the fight for more shut eye. According to data from 181,335 respondents aged 15 and older who participated ...

Wine is good for you—to a point

January 18, 2018
The Mediterranean diet has become synonymous with healthy eating, but there's one thing in it that stands out: It's cool to drink wine.

Sleep better, lose weight?

January 17, 2018
(HealthDay)—Sleeplessness could cost you when it's time to stand on your bathroom scale, a new British study suggests.

Who uses phone apps to track sleep habits? Mostly the healthy and wealthy in US

January 16, 2018
The profile of most Americans who use popular mobile phone apps that track sleep habits is that they are relatively affluent, claim to eat well, and say they are in good health, even if some of them tend to smoke.

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.