This study examined prehospital delays and clinical symptoms of myocardial infarction (MI) in blacks and whites and the relationship between longer delays and types of clinical symptoms. The convenience sample included 128 patients, admitted consecutively, with acute MI. Data on types of clinical symptoms of MI and treatment-seeking behavior were collected on day 2 or 3 after admission, using face-to-face semistructured interviews. The total mean delay time differed significantly between blacks and whites (16 hours vs. 8.8 hours, p < .05). Although the frequency of chest pain was similar in both blacks and whites (78% vs. 77%), more than twice as many blacks as whites presented with symptoms of dyspnea (56% vs. 24%, p < .01) and fatigue (32% vs. 17%, p < .05). There was an interactive effect of race-ethnicity and types of symptoms on delay (p < .05) was present. Delay times for whites with chest pain were shorter than for whites without chest pain. Delay times for blacks with dyspnea were significantly shorter than for blacks without dyspnea, although delay times did not differ between whites with and without dyspnea.
ASJC Scopus subject areas