To investigate whether there are gender and ethnic disparities in the patient education provided by primary healthcare providers about heart disease (HD) risk and prevention.
A telephone survey, conducted in four languages, was completed by 976 people, 40+ years of age, in Metro Vancouver, Canada. Questions assessing communication with healthcare providers' provision of HD risk and management education were the focus.
Statistically significant gender and ethnic differences were found. Women were less likely to report discussing HD risk and management with their healthcare providers. Chinese-Canadian participants had less likelihood of receiving HD education compared with participants of other ethnic origins. These differences persisted after multivariate adjustment with income, highest level of education attained, age, and other factors.
Primary healthcare providers should make improved efforts towards education about HD and its risk factors for women in general, and for postmenopausal women especially.
Healthcare providers should be aware that some ethnic populations may not be receiving patient education similar to that received by people of other communities, as found for Chinese-Canadian members of this study community. Further understanding of the barriers faced by ethnic groups must be gained to develop solutions.