When a red dress just isn’t enough to raise awareness

by Carolyn Thomas       @HeartSisters

A decade of lost ground  is how the official commentary from the American Heart Association bluntly described the stunningly awful results of its own 2019 National Survey on women’s heart disease awareness reported last month. I wrote about my own stunned reaction to this survey in Women’s Heart Disease: an Awareness Campaign Fail?

The results were astonishing.  They suggested that women not only had a low awareness of even the most basic facts about heart disease – the #1 killer of women worldwide – but awareness levels were significantly lower than an AHA awareness survey had found 10 years earlier.    .      .   Continue reading “When a red dress just isn’t enough to raise awareness”

Women’s heart disease: an awareness campaign fail?

by Carolyn Thomas       @HeartSisters

I’ve been thinking a lot about awareness-raising lately because of a bombshell report(1) from the 2019 American Heart Association National Survey released this month.  Among other completely demoralizing findings, this report found that women’s awareness of their most common heart attack symptoms has significantly declined from a prior survey done 10 years earlier. How is that even possible?   .      .     .  Continue reading “Women’s heart disease: an awareness campaign fail?”

Dear Carolyn: “I went into labour during my heart attack”

Nicole, her husband Victor, and children Renee and William

by Carolyn Thomas   @HeartSisters

Nicole Nickerson always knew that she had a significant history of heart disease in her family: her mother had a heart attack at age 30 (due to a congenital heart defect that had been missed at birth), and her father had quadruple bypass surgery at age 40 (likely due to stress and smoking). But it was only after her 25-year old sister died of a heart attack six years ago that Nicole’s heart was checked, too.

In the ninth of our occasional Heart Sisters series called Dear Carolyn, Nicole’s letter reminds us of an under-reported and shocking reality: young women with serious heart disease:          Continue reading “Dear Carolyn: “I went into labour during my heart attack””

Choose your listeners carefully

 by Carolyn Thomas    @Heartsisters

I once heard the late author Dr. Leo Buscaglia tell a conference audience his story about how he grew up equating caregiving with love. When he was a little boy, for example, his own mother seemed cold and distant  – except when he was sick. During those times, she would sit at his bedside, stroke his fevered brow, spoon-feed him homemade soup, fuss over every painful twinge, listen carefully to his every word, and become the kind of loving mother he rarely knew when he was healthy.    . Continue reading “Choose your listeners carefully”

“A Typical Heart” Film Screening/Panel Discussion September 7th

by Carolyn Thomas   @HeartSisters     August 11, 2019

.UPDATE: This event was  FULL with a WAITLIST. Thanks to all who attended its first public screening in Canada! You can watch this film here.

“A Typical Heart  is a short but powerful documentary film about women’s #1 killer. Heart disease, in fact, will kill more women this year than all forms of cancer combined. Yet until very recently, cardiac research on diagnostic tools, drugs and procedures has been done only on (white, middle-aged) men.(1)  Even the lab  mice used in early cardiac research were exclusively male animals.(2 ) No wonder many women still consider heart disease to be a “man’s problem”.

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This remarkable documentary was the brainchild of paramedic and researcher Cristina D’Alessandro of York Region Paramedic Services north of Toronto, who first asked the profoundly important question:
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If women make up over half our population, why are our heart attack symptoms still called ATYPICAL?”         Continue reading ““A Typical Heart” Film Screening/Panel Discussion September 7th”