Date of Conferral





Public Health


Diana Naser


When the Minority Health Improvement and Health Disparity Elimination Act of 2007 went into effect, there was a corresponding increase in research focused on cardiovascular disease (CVD) in underrepresented groups, except for 1: culturally Deaf Americans. Guided by the health belief model, the purpose of this study was to determine if there were significant differences in the level of knowledge, perceived barriers, and preventive behaviors associated with CVD among Deaf and hearing employees at Gallaudet University, Washington D.C. This cross-sectional quantitative research study used a survey with questions derived from 2 existing national surveys. One hundred eighty-six subjects were recruited on the campus of Gallaudet University. Chi-square analysis was conducted to seek any association between respondents and cardiovascular knowledge. A t test assessed for association between respondent characteristics and knowledge of CVD. A multivariate linear regression model was used to discover if differences in CVD knowledge score were predicted by socioeconomic factors. Deaf (28%) and hearing (43%) participants differed significantly in identifying all 6 correct signs/symptoms of heart attack (p = 0.04). Hearing females (80%) managed their blood pressure at healthy levels which is twice more than their Deaf female counterparts (61%, p = 0.01). Hearing Blacks (78%) had a discussion of their high blood pressure with their doctor more than Deaf Black counterparts (28%, p = 0.05). Gaining a better understanding of the Deaf health trends on CVD could inspire positive social change that ultimately could improve health for Deaf individuals in the United States.