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American Heart Association Rapid Access Journal Report: Study Finds Racial Gaps Continue in Heart Disease Awareness, Low Knowledge of Heart Attack Warning Signs Among Women
Date:2/10/2010

ount);s.linkTrackVars='prop5,eVar3,prop15';s.prop5='External Link';s.eVar3=s.prop5;s.prop15='84024027';s.tl(this,'o','ExternalLink');" target='_blank' href="http://www.hearthealthtimes.com/">Preventive Cardiology at New York-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City.  "Our study shows that these goals will be virtually impossible to achieve without first creating awareness among multicultural and younger women, educating women about the warning signs of heart attack and underscoring the importance of calling 9-1-1 immediately if they are experiencing heart attack symptoms."

The study surveyed women to measure their current awareness of CVD risk and barriers to prevention and, from previous surveys, evaluated awareness trends since 1997.

For the 2009 survey, 2,300 women age 25 or older were interviewed (1,142 by phone; 1,158 online).  Telephone data was used to understand changes since 1997.

In 2009, online respondents received additional survey questions about caregiving, preventive actions and barriers to healthy behaviors, to set a baseline for future data.

Of women surveyed by telephone, 54 percent understood that CVD is the leading cause of death among women, compared with 30 percent in 1997.

Additional survey findings:

  • Since 1997, the gap between minority and white women's awareness of CVD as the leading cause of death has narrowed, with awareness roughly doubling among white and Hispanic women and tripling among black women.
  • Knowledge of heart attack warning signs in 2009 has not improved appreciably since 1997, with only 56 percent of women citing chest pain and neck, shoulder and arm pain; 29 percent, shortness of breath; 17 percent, chest tightness; 15 percent, nausea; and 7 percent, fatigue.
  • Only 53 percent of all women said they would call 9-1-1 if they thought they were having heart
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SOURCE American Heart Association
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