I used to offer to sell to my non-Ukrainian friends the guest list from our big Ukrainian wedding. Imagine 450 names, all of whom were raised in a wonderful Slavic culture that knows what to do when hard times strike. No sooner do they hear of a friend or neighbour’s problems (like a family tragedy or a serious health crisis) – and they start pitching in to help. Such support often starts with baking, cooking and getting the casserole dishes lined up on the kitchen counter for imminent delivery to the freshly-stricken person’s fridge. Researchers know that having social support like this from others following a heart attack (or any serious health crisis) helps not only with physical recuperation, but also with emotional and psychological recovery, too. Yet virtually all published health research on the important quality-of-life issue of social support so far has been done on men.
White men, almost all of them seniors.
So lots of old white men studied, but very few women – and very few patients of either gender who were younger than 55 years of age. But the VIRGO study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association finally attempts to address this gap.(1) . . .
Continue reading “Little social support: a big gap for younger heart patients”