Clinical symptoms of myocardial infarction and delayed treatment-seeking behavior in blacks and whites

Hae Ok Lee, Robert Bahler, Ann Taylor, Algelo Alonzo, Richard A. Zeller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study was designed to increase our understanding of the clinical symptoms of myocardial infarction (MI) and the response to symptoms by patients with MI in order to improve the clinical management of MI. A comparative and correlational design was used. The sample consisted of 132 patients over the age of 30 who were diagnosed with an acute MI. All subjects were recruited by convenience sampling. Demographic data were collected by questionnaire; a semistructured interview obtained information on delay time and the context at the onset of acute clinical symptoms; and medical record review was used to collect data on clinical characteristics. The questionnaires and interview were administered at 24 to 72 hr after admission, and the medical record was reviewed during hospitalization and after discharge. Black MI patients experienced symptoms of dyspnea and fatigue significantly more often than White MI patients. The mean prehospital delay time was also significantly longer for Black MI patients (p < .05). Our findings indicate that Blacks more often experience atypical symptoms of MI and prolonged delays in seeking treatment for MI. Further exploration of the factors involved in delays and the relationships between types of symptoms and delay time are needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-159
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Applied Biobehavioral Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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