HEART ATTACK AND STROKE DISPARITIES AMONG RURAL WOMEN IN THE UNITED STATES

Open Access
Author:
Hoffman, Lindsay Marie
Area of Honors:
Biobehavioral Health
Degree:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Frank Martin Ahern, Thesis Supervisor
  • Lori Anne Francis, Honors Advisor
Keywords:
  • Rural Women
  • Stroke
  • Heart Attack
  • Cardiovascular Disease
Abstract:
Background: Compared to non-rural areas, past literature states that rural women have an elevated risk for heart attack and stroke. Numerous factors contribute to these inequalities throughout the United States. Methods: The 2008 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) is a national database that was used to analyze heart attack and stroke among women (n=257,079). The data was separated by women living in rural (n=84,648) and non-rural (n=172,431) metropolitan areas. Self-reported demographic, behavioral, and healthcare access variables were tested to explain any cardiovascular disease disparities. Results: As predicted, rural women had a greater risk for heart attack and stroke compared to non-rural women. Socioeconomic factors significantly mediated heart attack and stroke in rural women. Discussion: While socioeconomic factors strongly relate to cardiovascular events, variables outside of this model might further explain the risk for heart attack and stroke among rural women.