I was once asked by a U.S. publisher to review a new book written by a heart patient, a memoir about her surprising diagnosis. But about 12 pages in, she mentioned that she had been a chain-smoker for three decades before her “surprising” cardiac diagnosis. I had to re-read that line. How could a person who had been chain smoking for decades possibly be “surprised” by this predictable outcome? Didn’t this clearly intelligent, educated woman know that smoking is a dangerous risk factor for heart disease (and a whole bunch of other nasty health issues)? I thought of this book recently when a new study from Harvard researcher Dr. Catherine Kreatsoulas reported that women are in fact more likely than men to underestimate their own risk of heart disease. . . . . . . Continue reading “Did you underestimate your cardiac risk?”
“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”
I’ve been thinking a lot about awareness-raising lately because of a bombshell report from the 2019 American Heart Association National Survey released this month.(1) Among other completely demoralizing findings, this report found that women’s awareness of their most common heart attack risks and 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?”
Over the past decade, studies have suggested that almost twice as many women are now aware that heart disease is our leading cause of death. But awareness of this fact is still disturbingly low. For example, when cardiologist Dr. Lori Mosca of Columbia University Medical Center surveyed 2,300 women to measure their awareness of heart disease risk and to evaluate awareness trends since 1997, her results showed:
- although awareness of heart disease has improved since 1997, one-third of women are still unaware that it is the leading cause of death in females
- many women continue to believe that unproven therapies will reduce their heart disease risk
- only about one-half of women said they would call 911 if they thought they were having symptoms of a heart attack, which Mosca said was “incredibly discouraging.” Continue reading “Heart disease: “You’ve come a long way, baby!” – or have you?”