Awareness level of general population regarding acute chest pain in Aseer region, Southern of Saudi Arabia

Shehata F. Shehata, Muhammed A. Alkhairi, Mohammed A. Alzahrani, Mohammed A. Alqarni, Yahya F. Aseri, Mohammed I. Alwadai


Background: Myocardial infarction is caused by sudden closure of a coronary artery due to plaque rupture. Symptoms include chest pain, which travels from left arm to neck, dyspnea, sweating, nausea, vomiting, arrhythmia, anxiety, fatigue and weakness. Complications of acute myocardial infarction include papillary muscle rupture and mitral regurgitation, ventricular septal rupture, free-wall rupture, and right ventricular infarction. Adequate awareness of acute chest diseases improves medical consultation for suspected cases by general population.

Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional approach was used targeting all population in Aseer region. The study was conducted during the period from December 2019 to March 2020. Data were collected using structured questionnaire included person’s socio-demographic data, Participants’ family history regarding heart attack, participants’ awareness regarding acute chest pain.

Results: A total sample of 1287 respondents was included in the study. About 54% of the respondents aged 30 years or more and 65.3% were females. Only 9.2% of the participants correctly defined heart attack. Regarding symptoms, 59.9% of the participants reported left arm pain, 57.1% reported difficulty breathing and 29% told about burning sensation in middle of the chest. Totally, nearly one quarter of the participants had good awareness level regarding heart attack.

Conclusions: In conclusion, the population awareness regarding heart attack and stroke is poor. Also, population with high risk were more knowledgeable. More effort should be paid to improve the public knowledge of stroke, more effective community-based education programs should be organized constantly with screening for population at high risk.


Acute chest pain, Awareness, Heart attack, Knowledge, Population, Risk factors, Stroke

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