Acute Myocardial Infarction Experience Among Mexican American Women

John R. Bowles, Marylyn M. McEwen, Anne G. Rosenfeld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Introduction: Health disparities in cardiovascular disease risk factors affect a burgeoning segment of the U.S. population—Mexican American (MA) women. MAs experience disparities in the prevalence of heart disease risk factors. However, there are no studies describing acute myocardial infarction (AMI) symptoms unique to this Hispanic subgroup. The aim of the study was to describe MA women’s AMI symptom experience. Methods: A qualitative descriptive design guided the study. Data were collected in semistructured interviews with eight MA women who reported having an AMI within the past 18 months. Data were analyzed using qualitative content analysis. Results: The overall theme was “The nature of my AMI experience.” This theme, composed of four categories, described their prodromal and AMI symptom experience: my perception of AMI, having a heart attack, AMI symptoms, and actions taken. No participants recognized prodromal or symptoms of AMI. Asphyxiatia (asphyxiating) and menos fuerza (less strength) were commonly described symptoms. Conclusion: Participants attributed both prodromal and AMI symptoms to noncardiac causes, self-managed symptoms, and delay in seeking health care. Findings suggest that community engagement through culturally tailored family-focused heart health education for MA women and their family members may improve recognition of prodromal symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)62-69
Number of pages8
JournalHispanic Health Care International
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2018


  • heart disease
  • Mexican American
  • myocardial infarction
  • symptoms
  • women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing

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