Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death among Asian Americans, the majority of whom are foreign-born. However, CVD and risk factor data is sparse for specific Asian immigrant populations. To assess knowledge and understanding of CVD and risk factors within Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese immigrant populations, we conducted eight focus groups of 77 participants between 36 and 84 years old. Participants correctly identified signs and symptoms for heart attacks while knowledge about stroke was incomplete. While poor diet, lack of exercise, older age, and high cholesterol were frequently discussed as risk factors, mechanisms perceived as contributing to heart disease were influenced primarily by non-Western paradigms. Non-Western remedies were discussed in detail among Chinese and Vietnamese participants. All participants desired more information, and identified barriers to effective communication with healthcare providers. A deeper understanding of beliefs and barriers faced by Asian immigrants can help guide health promotion efforts.
- Cardiovascular disease
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health