alexa Ethnic differences in public health awareness, health perceptions and physical exercise: implications for heart disease prevention.


Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals

Author(s): Lip GY, Luscombe C, McCarry M, Malik I, Beevers G

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Abstract OBJECTIVES: To study whether the wide differences in heart disease incidence amongst ethnic groups in the UK, with the higher mortality and morbidity in peoples of south Asian descent, may be attributed to differences in public health awareness and life-style. DESIGN: Questionnaire-based survey of women from different ethnic groups attending an antenatal clinic in a city centre district general hospital. RESULTS: We surveyed 232 housewives from 3 different ethnic groups: 84 white (mean age 24.3 years +/- standard deviation (SD) 5.84), 76 Afro-Caribbean (mean age 24.7 years +/- SD 4.46) and 72 Asians (defined as people of south Asian or Indian subcontinent descent; mean age 25.7 years +/- SD 5.5). The proportions of smokers amongst the whites, blacks and Asians were 38.1\%, 27.6\% and 2.8\% respectively. Proportions consuming alcohol regularly were 31.0\%, 10.5\% and 4.2\% respectively. A higher proportion of blacks reported a change in dietary fibre intake, whilst a higher proportion of whites reported a change in dietary fat intake and sugar intake as a result of public health campaigns, publicity or advertising. There was a significantly lower proportion of reported regular exercise activity amongst the Asian women and their husbands or partners. CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates that Asian families were the least likely to take regular exercise, and had a lower awareness of cholesterol or dietary content (fibre, sugar, salt) despite public health campaigns and publicity. They were however the least likely to smoke cigarettes. These ethnic differences may in part explain the higher prevalence of coronary heart disease amongst the Asian population in the UK. This ethnic group should be targeted for intense public health intervention, education and other preventative measures to reduce the risks of heart disease. This article was published in Ethn Health and referenced in Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals

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