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”
by Carolyn Thomas ♥ @HeartSisters ♥ April 7, 2019
In the game of poker, zero sum game theory suggests that the sum of the amounts won by some players equals the combined losses of the others. So if one player wins big, then other players must lose big.
It struck me recently that it’s possible our healthcare system functions as if it were a zero sum game, too.
Continue reading “Women’s heart health: why it’s NOT a zero sum game”
by Carolyn Thomas ♥ @HeartSisters
I sometimes think that, during the years I’ve been writing about women’s heart disease research, diagnostics and treatment, I’ve heard it all when it comes to women being under-diagnosed and under-treated (yes, sometimes under-treated even when appropriately diagnosed!) I thought I was unshockable by now. But a study published in the journal, Women’s Health Issues (WHI) was indeed a shocker.(1) .
Continue reading “Fewer lights/sirens when a woman heart patient is in the ambulance”
by Carolyn Thomas
The irreverent Laura Haywood-Cory of North Carolina is, like me, a heart attack survivor and, also like me, a graduate of Mayo Clinic’s WomenHeart Science & Leadership Symposium for Women With Heart Disease in Rochester, Minnesota (where she’s also attended the Mayo Clinic Social Media Summit, too!)
Her own dramatic heart story is that of an often deadly condition usually seen in young, healthy women with few if any known cardiac risk factors: Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection or SCAD. I’m happy to say she has been making a heroic effort to beat this sucker into the ground – just one year after surviving her heart attack at age 40, Laura completed the Chapel Hill Ramblin’ Rose Triathlon. It’s her unique take on a surprisingly frequent response to women’s heart disease that I want to share with you today: Continue reading “But what about the men?”
Last week, the disturbing results of a study on women and heart disease were released, attracting media headlines like Women and Heart Disease: New Data Reaffirms Lack of Awareness By Women and Physicians. I had to go have a wee lie-down after I read this paper in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.(1)
The study’s lead author, cardiologist Dr. Noel Bairey Merz, of Cedars Sinai Heart Institute in Los Angeles, announced that “increasing awareness of cardiovascular disease in women has stalled with no major progress in almost 10 years”, and (far more intensely disturbing, in my opinion): “Little progress has been made in the last decade in increasing physician awareness or use of evidence-based guidelines to care for female heart patients.”
No wonder I had to lie down. But taking to one’s bed in response to yet another discouraging study about cardiology’s gender gap is no longer enough. Perhaps it’s time for female heart patients like me to simply throw our collective hands in the air while banging our heads against the nearest wall. Continue reading “Excuse me while I bang my head against this wall…”