Navigation Links
Women's Heart Disease Awareness Still Lacking

More than 40 percent of women don't know it is leading killer, survey finds

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Despite public awareness campaigns, almost half of all American women still don't know that heart disease is the leading cause of death in women, new research finds.

Even more concerning, only slightly more than half of women would call for emergency help if they were having heart attack symptoms, according to the latest survey for the American Heart Association's Go Red For Women public awareness campaign.

"We've made a lot of progress since 1997 [when the Go Red campaign first began], but we still have a long way to go," said lead researcher Dr. Lori Mosca, director of preventive cardiology at New York-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City.

For example, she said, "Only about half of women knew what heart attack symptoms are."

Results of the study are scheduled to be published in the March issue of Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

In 1997, when the survey was first conducted, just 30 percent of women realized that heart disease was the leading cause of death in women. In 2009, that number was 54 percent. However, that number is down slightly from 2006 when 57 percent of women said that heart disease was the biggest threat to their health.

Young women were more likely to believe that breast cancer was their biggest potential health threat. Thirty-four percent of women between the ages of 25 and 34 thought breast cancer was more of a threat than heart disease, compared to 22 percent of women over 65 who felt that way.

Racial disparities still exist, though the racial gap in awareness is narrowing, according to the survey. Just 43 percent of black women and 44 percent of Hispanic women correctly identified heart disease as the leading killer of women. However, those numbers were significantly increased from 1997, when the rates of awareness were 15 percent and 20 percent, respectively.

Other important findings from the new survey include:

  • Eighty-five percent of women said they had seen, heard or read about heart disease during the past year.
  • Only 53 percent of women said they would call 911 if they were having heart attack symptoms.
  • Just over half of women said the biggest barrier to taking preventive steps against heart disease were family and care-taking responsibilities.

Women are taking important preventive steps such as seeing their doctors and having their blood pressure checked. However, many women are relying on unproven strategies to prevent heart disease, as well. For example, 82 percent said they believed that fish oil would help them prevent heart disease, and 29 percent said aromatherapy could be helpful, according to the survey.

"Although there may be some benefit to alternative and complementary therapies, they pale in comparison to turning off the TV and going out for a walk," said Dr. Pamela Marcovitz, medical director of the Ministrelli Women's Heart Center at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich. "When people exercise even moderately most days of the week, they're incredibly more likely to be healthier and live longer."

Both Mosca and Marcovitz said that experts have to find new ways to get the message of heart disease prevention out to more people. Mosca said that having women tell their stories to other women at places like community centers could be helpful. She said it's also important to have information available in Spanish. Marcovitz said that social networking sites may also prove useful for spreading heart health messages.

Both doctors said that if you have chest pain -- and it may not always feel like pain; it could be pressure or a squeezing sensation -- that doesn't go away after a few minutes, you need to call 911. Women also may have more unusual symptoms, such as feeling nauseous or having jaw pain.

"If you're having symptoms, make the phone call," advised Marcovitz. "Take your symptoms seriously. Even if it's not a heart attack, you'll still get the right cardiology work-up."

Mosca echoed that advice. "Most women know something isn't right, but they don't want to bother anyone. We'd rather you called 911, even if it's a false alarm," she said.

More information

Learn more about steps you can take to improve your heart health from the American Heart Association.

SOURCES: Lori Mosca, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., director, preventive cardiology, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, New York City; Pamela Marcovitz, M.D., medical director, Ministrelli Women's Heart Center, Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, Mich.; March 2010, Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Womenshealthchannel Enhancements Support Pregnant Teens
2. Highmark Foundation Awards $120,000 to the American Heart Association
3. Study finds racial gaps continue in heart disease awareness
4. Cook With Love This Valentines Day With Heart-Smart Recipes
5. ICU Patients at Risk for Rare Heart Rhythm Problem
6. BayCare Hosts Public Events to Celebrate American Heart Month
7. Women with gout at greater risk of heart attack than men
8. Superbowl Heartbeat from Thinklabs Electronic Stethoscope
9. Learn to Beat Heart Disease During February, American Heart Month
10. AAHFN Promotes Heart Failure Awareness Week Through Webinar
11. Super Bowl Stress Can Spark Heart Attacks
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... The Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) of Somerset ... of specialty vendors and unique items from across the nation, this holiday-themed event will ... services offered by the VNA. The boutique will be open Saturday, November 4 ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Coveros, a leader ... been awarded a contract by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). ... the enterprise use of Agile methodologies in a consistent and high value manner ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... Planet Fitness, ... the U.S., announced today its plans to open a flagship location in Covington, LA ... the former Rooms To Go store next to Office Depot in the Holiday Square ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Information about ... intend to develop to enable prevention of a major side effect of chemotherapy ... especially in pediatric patients. For cisplatin, hearing loss is FDA listed on-label as ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... named one of Michigan’s 2017 Best and Brightest in Wellness® by Best and ... Wellness® awards program on Friday, Oct. 20 from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... CHICAGO , Oct. 11, 2017  Hill-Rom Holdings, ... its Aspen Surgical facility in Las Piedras, ... surgical scalpels and blades. ... confirmed that the facility sustained minor structural damage, temporary ... Hurricane Maria. Repairs have been completed, manufacturing operations have ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... IRVING, Texas , Oct. 6, 2017   ... industry with more than $100 billion in purchasing power, ... industry news and information. The Newsroom is ... chain and industry trends, infographics, expert bios, news releases, ... Besides having access to a wealth of resources at ...
(Date:10/4/2017)... the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), influenza vaccination should ... helping communities across Massachusetts , Connecticut ... shots through the end of the month. *Some exclusions apply ... ... is by the end of October, according to the Centers for Disease ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: