Date of Award

Fall 12-2010

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Public Health

Field of Study

Biostatistics

Department

School of Public Health

First Advisor

Dr. Sejong Bae

Second Advisor

Dr. Swati Biswas

Third Advisor

Dr. Olive Chen

Abstract

Schlorke, Patricia J., Adult Women and Coronary Heart Disease: Studies on Surgical Procedures and Perception. Doctor of Public Health (Biostatistics), December 2010, 124 pp., 12 tables, 3 figures, bibliography, 95 titles.

Coronary heart disease (CHD) was the number one cause of death in the United States. The main CHD symptom was a heart attack. The most common form of a heart attack was chest pain and shortness of breath, which occurred in men. However, women did not usually have chest pain, but other symptoms such as abdominal pain or indigestion. This could lead women to perceive or believe that they would not have heart disease or heart attacks. This thought could lead women to not obtaining health care, such as surgical procedures, for CHD.

Health professionals knew the signs and symptoms of CHD in men, but they may be uncertain in their diagnosis in women. This could lead to women not asking their health care professional about heart attacks or other symptoms. The purpose of this dissertation analyzed CHD in two areas in all women 18 years and older. These two areas were: (a) comparing hospital length of stay between men and women who had either coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) or percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA); and (b) women’s perceptions about CHD.

Data for the surgical procedures study came from the 2006 National Hospital Discharge Survey (NHDS) and for the perception study came from the 2007 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). The results showed for the surgical procedures men and women had increased hospital days of care (DOC) for all surgical procedures. The results for the perception study showed women varied by age, race-ethnicity, education, income, and other factors in heart attack symptom knowledge.

These two studies had the following conclusions. The results for increased hospital DOC had implications, such as increased health utilization, for present and future hospitalizations. The results for heart attack symptom knowledge showed a need for more awareness and communication of heart attack symptoms among all women across the United States.

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