Public Awareness of the Benefits of Aspirin Use in the Management of Acute Myocardial Infarction

Gilat L. Grunau*, 1, Pamela A. Ratner1, 2, Paul M. Galdas1, 2, Shahadut Hossain1
1 NEXUS, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
2 School of Nursing, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

© 2009Grunau et al..

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: ( This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Correspondence: *Address correspondence to this author at the GENESIS and NEXUS, University of British Columbia, 302-6190 Agronomy Road, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z3, Canada; Tel: +001 604-822-5045; Fax: +001 604-822-7869; E-mail:



Aspirin is known to be an effective agent in the tertiary prevention of acute myocardial infarction (AMI). The current recommendation is that aspirin should be given immediately during an AMI and continued afterward. Despite the recognized benefits of aspirin therapy, only a small portion of individuals take aspirin when experiencing acute chest pain. The objective of this study was to determine the proportion of the public that knew that aspirin administration during an AMI is beneficial and to examine factors associated with such knowledge.


A telephone survey was completed by 976 people 40+ years of age, in Metro Vancouver, Canada.


Only 33.7% of the sample indicated that they were ‘very likely’ or ‘definitely likely’ to take an aspirin if they were experiencing symptoms of a “heart attack.” In multivariate analysis, older individuals, better educated individuals, and those with AMI experience in self, family member or friend, were more likely to report that they would take an aspirin. Chinese immigrants, compared with Canadian-born participants, were less likely to indicate that they would take an aspirin.


Interventions for increasing awareness of the benefits of aspirin during an AMI should be made a priority in general, and with a particular focus on the Chinese-Canadian community.

Keywords: Myocardial infarction, aspirin, ethnic groups.