South Asians (SA) are predisposed to developing premature coronary heart disease (CHD), partly due to the early onset of classic risk factors, including physical inactivity. The nature of physical activity (PA) environments in South Asians in Canada remains unknown. Our objective was to examine differences in PA environments for South Asian vs White Caucasian (WC) CHD patients. In a cross-sectional study, 2657 hospitalized CHD patients in Ontario completed The Perceived Environments Related to Physical Activity Questionnaire to assess their home and neighborhood environment, perceived neighborhood safety and availability of recreational facilities. Patients self-reporting their ethnocultural background as WC (N = 1301, 48.6%) or SA (N = 171, 6.4%) were included in this study. South Asians were significantly younger, had lower body mass index, higher levels of education, lower income, were less likely to smoke and reside rurally, and were more likely to be married, have diabetes mellitus and have experienced prior myocardial infarction (MI) than WC patients. South Asians also had lower availability of home exercise equipment and perceived convenience of local PA facilities, but better and safer neighborhood environments than WC patients. Multivariate analyses revealed that SA ethnocultural background remained significantly related to reduced availability of home exercise equipment and fewer convenient local PA facilities. Since physical inactivity is an important CHD risk factor, and SA ethnocultural background is associated with high CHD risk, this may represent a novel target for risk reduction. Thus, further research is required to optimize SA awareness of the need for PA, and access to equipment and facilities.
While systematic referral strategies have been shown to significantly increase cardiac rehabilitation (CR) enrollment to approximately 70%, whether utilization rates increase among patient groups who are traditionally underrepresented has yet to be established. This study compared CR utilization based on age, marital status, rurality, socioeconomic indicators, clinical risk, and comorbidities following systematic versus nonsystematic CR referral.
Coronary artery disease inpatients (N = 2635) from 11 Ontario hospitals, utilizing either systematic (n = 8 wards) or nonsystematic referral strategies (n = 8 wards), completed a survey including sociodemographics and activity status. Clinical data were extracted from charts. At 1 year, 1680 participants completed a mailed survey that assessed CR utilization. The association of patient characteristics and referral strategy on CR utilization was tested using ?.
When compared to nonsystematic referral, systematic strategies resulted in significantly greater CR referral and enrollment among obese (32 vs 27% referred, P = .044; 33 vs 26% enrolled, P = .047) patients of lower socioeconomic status (41 vs 34% referred, P = .026; 42 vs 32% enrolled, P = .005); and lower activity status (63 vs 54% referred, P = .005; 62 vs 51% enrolled, P = .002). There was significantly greater enrollment among those of lower education (P = .04) when systematically referred; however, no significant differences in degree of CR participation based on referral strategy.
Up to 11% more socioeconomically disadvantaged patients and those with more risk factors utilized CR where systematic processes were in place. They participated in CR to the same high degree as their nonsystematically referred counterparts. These referral strategies should be implemented to promote equitable access.