Association of Health Literacy with Cardiovascular Disease in Chinese Americans

Date
2016-05
Authors
Tong, Michelle
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University of Hawaii at Manoa
Abstract
As a leading cause of death in Americans, cardiovascular disease (CVD) is further aggravated by health disparities among ethnic minority sub-populations. In Hawaii and California, the Chinese American population is considered a minority population. Within these groups, CVD can be worsened by having low English proficiency and low health literacy. Low health literacy has been associated with CVD in other populations thus Chinese Americans may lack adequate health literacy required for protection against developing CVD or effective management of CVD after diagnosis. Having diminished understanding of disease prevention and health maintenance, such as through low health literacy (LHL), can exacerbate risk factors for developing CVD. This project was a collaborative effort between the Office of Public Health Studies at The University of Hawai’i at Mānoa and the Hawai’i State Department of Health. The aim was to gain a better understanding of the relationship between health literacy and its effects on CVD in the Chinese American sub-populations of California and Hawaii. Data was taken from three health surveys across these states, respectively. The results were analyzed using descriptive statistics and multivariate logistic models. The data collected across the surveys were compared for evidence of association between health literacy and CVD in the sample populations. While descriptive results showed a relationship with CVD and low health literacy in Chinese respondents, these relationships did not hold in multivariable models. However, other associations were found, including the relationship among health literacy and age, which sets the foundation for future research.
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