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J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2009 May;18(5):667-75. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2008.0907.

Recall of three heart disease risk factor diagnoses among low-income women.

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  • 1RTI International, Health, Social, and Economics Research, Washington, DC, USA.



Success of interventions targeting heart disease risk factors depends largely on whether patients understand their risk factors, as awareness and acceptance are necessary steps in controlling and managing these conditions. The goal of this analysis was to assess whether women with identified heart disease risk factors are able to recall their diagnoses 1 year later.


The WISEWOMAN program provides heart disease screening and intervention services to low-income underinsured and uninsured women. The study used 2000-2005 data for WISEWOMAN participants with newly identified high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes to assess their likelihood of reporting never having been told of their conditions 1 year later.


Among women with high blood pressure at baseline, 66% (n = 1140) reported never having been told they have this condition 1 year later. Black women were less likely to report never being told (OR 0.62, p < 0.01) than white women. Women older than 60 were more likely to report never being told (OR = 1.62, p < 0.01) than women younger than 50. Among women with high cholesterol at baseline, 46% (n = 1312) reported never being told 1 year later. Less educated women were more likely to report never being told (OR 2.29, p < 0.01) than high school graduates. Among women with high glucose at baseline, 54% (n = 123) reported never being told 1 year later.


A provider-patient communication gap or inability of low-income patients to retain health information hampers public health efforts to encourage individuals with heart disease risk factors to make the behavior changes necessary to reduce these risks.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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