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INTRODUCTION

Approximately 520,000 American women from all races and ethnic groups die from heart disease each year Cardiovascular disease is an entity whereby early interventions can make a substantial difference. Women are four-to-eight times more likely to die of than of any other disease, yet women are underdiagnosed and undertreated for then-diseases and associated risk factors. In addition, studies have shown that women and society in general do not perceive coronary heart disease as a serious concern for women.

Racial differences in healthcare outcomes have been widely documented in the United States. Historically, minority groups have seen higher morbidity and mortality rates than nonminority groups. Reasons for the discrepancies have ranged from delayed access to care, provider bias, patient preferences, income inequality, misinformation, and cultural legacies.
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Given the morbidity and mortality associated with heart disease in women, the study objectives were to test the hypothesis that the higher prevalence of heart disease-related illnesses in women in urban areas may be attributed to lack of knowledge. Women were specifically questioned about: 1) their awareness of mortality associated with heart disease, 2) their knowledge of risk factors of heart disease, and 3) overall familiarity with the signs and symptoms of myocardial infarctions (Mis).