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Ethnicity and culture significantly influence the risk factors of heart disease. It has been established that people from a particular ethnic group are likely to have heart disease than another ethnic group. Besides, people who are brought up in a specific culture may have a high prevalence rate of suffering from heart disease than people from another cultural setting. This paper will determine the reasons why ethnicity and culture influences risk factors for heart disease. Also, the paper will describe the technique of palpation and percussion of the chest wall for bulges, fremitus, tenderness, and thoracic expansion.

Influence of Ethnicity and Culture on the Risk Factors of Heart Disease

Ethnicity is a major reason why most people suffer from heart disease. Recent statistics indicate that 30% of African American men tend to suffer from heart disease before they die (Risk Factors, 2012). Besides, the statistics indicate that both genders of African Americans are likely to suffer from heart diseases. On the other hand, non-Hispanic white men have a low likelihood of suffering from heart diseases. It means that their ethnicity does not significantly increase the risk factors for heart diseases.

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Women are majorly affected by heart diseases more than men (Barnett et al, 2001). In this regard, women tend to have more risk factors for heart disease than men. For example, black women are more predisposed to heart diseases than black men. Another astonishing statistic is that black women are likely to die from heart disease than white women. However, doctors have not been able to establish what causes women to have a high prevalence rate of heart disease. Nevertheless, it has been established that most black women are not unaware that high cholesterol, smoking, and family history increase the risk factors of heart disease. Such ethnic disparities significantly increase the risk factors of heart disease.

The family history of an individual may increase the risk factors of heart disease. When diagnosing a patient suffering from heart disease, doctors usually check the history of the patient's family. The history of the family might increase the risk factors of heart disease (Jarvis, 2012b). For example, if there is a person in the family that has had coronary heart disease before he attained the age of 55, there's a high likelihood that someone from his generation would suffer from heart disease.

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The other factor that can increase the risk factors for heart disease is culture. Typically, people who are brought up in one culture are highly likely to suffer from heart diseases than people from another culture. For example, some people have been brought up in a culture that allows them to chew or smoke tobacco. It significantly increases their risk factors for heart disease. Besides, people living in such a cultural setting tend to start smoking when they are young (Shepard, 2010). It considerably increases their chances of suffering from heart-related diseases.

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Also, people living in a poor cultural setting are high to suffer from heart diseases. It has been established that poor people have high-risk factors for heart diseases. The location of a poor person doesn't determine the prominence of risk factors. Typically, poor people are faced with anxiety and social isolation. Other factors facing poor people that may increase their likelihood of suffering from heart diseases are depression and stressful life.

The technique of Percussion and Palpation

Palpation is a technique whereby the examiner uses his hands and fingers to feel the abnormalities of the patient. It enables him or her to collect vital data that may help in determining the health of a patient's heart. Some of the palpation data include tenderness, swelling, skin temperature changes, chest skeletal abnormalities, and chest movement symmetry. Conducting the palpation technique on a patient involves a simple process. The examiner usually stands behind the patient and places his or her hands beneath the patient's arms (Jarvis, 2012a). He should place the fingers near the chest to feel the patient breathing. Placement of the fingers tactically under the arms enables the examiner to feel the chest of the patient breathing. Thereafter, the examiner can request the patient to breathe out fully to observe the movement of his or her hands and thumbs. If they move correspondingly on both sides, it indicates that the patient does not have any chest problems (Joseph, 2010). Some of the findings that an examiner can get after carrying out the palpation technique on the patient include warm skin, normal chest size, symmetrical chest expansion, and no tender spots.

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The percussion technique involves the examiner letting his or her hand swing freely at the wrist while hitting his or her finger onto the patient's hand (Jarvis, 2012c). Essentially, this technique entails striking a surface that covers an air-filled structure that leads to the production of a resonant note. It is the resonant note that forms the basis of this technique. The examiner needs to allow his hand to be at free motion because if the wrist is stiff, it would be difficult to produce the correct sound (Goldstein et al, 2005). Nevertheless, it takes some time before determining what is resonant or not. When the examiner is percussing any spot on the patient's body, he normally taps 2 to 3 times to get the best result. He intermittently continues the process down the patient's hand. Even though the percussion technique is a bit uncomfortable to perform, it significantly helps in checking the patient's chest for fremitus, bulges, and thoracic expansion.

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