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Ethnic and gender differences in perceptions of mortality risk in a Canadian urban centre

Authors Grunau GL, Ratner PA, Hossain S

Published 8 September 2008 Volume 2008:1 Pages 41—50

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJGM.S3797

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 1


Gilat L Grunau1, Pamela A Ratner1,2, Shahadut Hossain1

1NEXUS; 2School of Nursing, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada; University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

Background: Women reportedly do not perceive heart disease (HD) as a major threat to their health; however, men’s perceptions are rarely studied.

Purpose: We explored gender and ethnic differences in risk perception of HD mortality.

Methods: The survey was completed by 976 people 40+ years of age, in metropolitan Vancouver, Canada.

Results: Men, compared with women, were more likely not to know the answer to a question about whether HD is the most common cause of death for women; however, women were more likely not to know the answer to a question about whether HD is the most common cause of death for men. Chinese-Canadian and South Asian-Canadian participants were more likely than participants of other ethnic groups not to know the answer to either question, and the Chinese-Canadian participants were more likely to disagree that HD is the most common cause of death for women.

Conclusion: There is a need to educate the Chinese-Canadian and South Asian-Canadian communities about HD as a first step in promoting health behavior change. Men and women must be educated about the other gender’s risk of HD because all adults play integral roles in making decisions about the prevention of and early intervention for HD.

Keywords: risk assessment, heart disease, mortality, gender, ethnic groups

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