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Despite decades of research to prevent and treat cardiovascular disease, each year it continues to kill more than half a million women, a greater number than the subsequent 16 causes of death combined. Black women have age-adjusted death rates from coronary heart disease (CHD) over 71 percent higher than that of white women, and CHD is the leading cause of death in Hispanic women. Further, Black and Hispanic women have increased numbers of cardiac risk factors and comorbidities. However, few studies have specifically focused on women's of myocardial infarction (MI) and CHD or addressed their prodromal symptoms. Even less is known about MI symptoms in women of color. This lack of an accurate description of symptoms means that women often do not recognize their symptoms and thus delay seeking treatment, which is associated with less effective and fewer treatment options, longer hospitalizations, and higher mortality and morbidity rates. Since Black and Hispanic women delay seeking treatment longer than other groups, perhaps because their symptoms do not match their expectations, researchers must delineate their symptomatology. A more accurate description of symptoms of MI in women of color should help them recognize their symptoms better and seek treatment earlier. Therefore, this study proposes to describe prodromal and acute symptoms of MI in Black and Hispanic women using a telephone survey of 1030 women from 10 medical centers. We will query women of color 4-6 months after their MI about their prodromal and acute symptoms and cardiovascular risk status. We will compare the symptoms of women of color with those of white women being investigated in our currently funded R01. We will analyze differences among the ethnic groups while controlling for factors that may be unique in the groups, such as cardiovascular risk status and location of MI. Results of this study will help us more fully describe and recognize prodromal and acute symptomatology in women of color with CHD and MI. This information will facilitate the development of educational materials tailored to women of color and should lead to earlier diagnosis and treatment.

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