We aimed to determine the level of awareness of myocardial infarction (MI) symptoms among the general public in Korea and identify factors affecting awareness of MI symptoms using data from the 2017 Community Health Survey (CHS).
This is a cross-sectional study using CHS data. Based on five questions about MI symptoms, subjects were divided into an awareness group (replied ‘Yes’ to all five questions) and an unawareness group (replied ‘No’ or ‘Not sure’ to at least one of five questions) for analysis.
Of a total of 228,281 subjects, 42.4% were aware of MI symptoms. There was a high level of awareness of chest pain and shortness of breath, but a low level of awareness of gastrointestinal symptoms and pain in the arm, shoulder, jaw, neck, and back. While women had a higher level of overall awareness relative to men, they showed a lower level of awareness regarding chest pain and discomfort. The factors affecting awareness of MI symptoms were gender, age, education level, occupation, smoking, drinking, physical inactivity, and cardiovascular disease risk factors.
: In order to enhance awareness of MI symptoms among the general population, appropriate education and promotion efforts must be implemented based on gender, age, education level, and occupation. Moreover, active efforts by the government, educational institutions, and medical institutions are necessary to improve awareness of both typical and atypical MI symptoms. Furthermore, health policies to promote reduced smoking and drinking and increased physical activity, as well as continuous monitoring and management of individuals with cardiovascular disease risk factors, are required.