More Women Aware of Their Risk for Heart Disease

More Women Aware of Their Risk for Heart Disease

More Women Aware of Their Risk for Heart Disease Medscape Medical News By Shelley Wood More from WebMD Transcendental Meditation May Lower Heart Risk Periodic Fasting May Cut Risk of...

Feb. 20, 2013 -- More American women are aware of their risk for heart disease than ever before, but huge gaps in knowledge still remain.

A new survey shows that the number of women who know that heart disease is their leading cause of death has nearly doubled since 1997: from 30% in 1997 to 56% today.

Awareness has roughly doubled since 1997 among all of the racial groups, but remains far lower overall among African-American and Hispanic women.

"These data suggest that future educational efforts should be targeted to racial and ethnic minorities who have lower rates of awareness and higher rates of [death from heart disease] and risk factors," Lori Mosca, MD, of the Columbia University Medical Center in New York, and colleagues write in Circulation.

Other key observations include:

  • Younger women (25-34 years of age) had the lowest rate of awareness at 44%.
  • 65% of women reported that they would call 911 if they had symptoms, up from 53% in 2009.
  • 1 in 5 women surveyed online said their doctor had discussed their risk for heart disease at least once.
  • 26% of women also reported having depression, a potential barrier to following a heart-healthy lifestyle.

 

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