[IPu] Fw: Women Starting to Get the Message about Heart Disease Risks
Second attempt .....
Important if your a female because although generally women until
have a "hormonal protection" from Heart Disease. Diabetes in women
cancels this out. Therefore Women with Diabetes have the same risk of
heart disease / heart attack as men. Add to this the fact that women
less servere / different Heart attack symptoms to men and that their
is not as well treated by the medical community. ...........
Women Starting to Get the Message About Heart Disease Risks
By Katrina Woznicki, MedPage Today Staff Writer
Reviewed by Robert Jasmer, MD; Assistant Professor of Medicine,
University of California, San Francisco
February 01, 2006
Also covered by: Forbes
MedPage Today Action Points
a.. Inform women that, just like men, they have risks for
cardiovascular disease, and these include a family history of the disease,
hypertension, hyperlipidemia, elevated blood sugar, obesity, and smoking.
b.. Be aware that this study found that black and Hispanic
women less likely to know about their risks for cardiovascular disease and
less likely to be aware of the risk factors than white women.
NEW YORK, Feb. 1 - The word is finally getting out to sizable
numbers of American women that cardiovascular disease is their number one
killer. But it would be a surprise to nearly half.
It has been a slow process that is ongoing. While 55% of women
were aware last year that heart disease is the leading cause of death for
women in the United States, that's a significant jump from a startling 30%
awareness in 1997 (P<0.05), according to Lori Mosca, M.D., director of
preventive cardiology at New York-Presbyterian Hospital.
One in every 2.6 deaths in women is caused by cardiovascular
disease, Dr. Mosca and colleagues reported in the Feb. 1 issue of Circulation:
Journal of the American Heart Association, a theme issue focused on women and
Black and Hispanic women are lagging in understanding their risks,
said the researchers, with rates of awareness significantly lower than for
whites (38% and 34% versus 62%, respectively).
Dr. Mosca and colleagues found that as women become increasingly
aware that they are not immune to cardiovascular disease, they are more likely
to take preventive action. Awareness was independently correlated with
increased exercise (odds ratio, 1.35; 95% confidence interval, 1.00 to1.83)
and weight loss (OR, 1.47; 95% CI, 1.14 to 2.02), the researchers reported.
The authors credited public awareness campaigns, such as the
American Heart Association's Go Red for Women campaign, which uses a red dress
symbol to help raise awareness about heart disease.
Their findings were based on a cross-sectional survey of 1,008
women, selected via random digit dialing. The mean age of the respondents was
51.3. A total of 565 women were white, 210 women were black, 171 were
Hispanic, and 53 identified themselves as "other." One of four women reported
having a family history of cardiovascular disease, 5% said they had a personal
Eighty-eight percent of the group said they saw a doctor regularly
and 90% said they had insurance coverage. However, 38% also said they didn't
discuss their heart disease risks with their doctors because their doctors
never broached the subject.
Almost half of the cohort understood the importance of maintaining
a healthy blood pressure, with whites being significantly more knowledgeable
than blacks or Hispanics (52% vs. 40% vs. 37%; P<0.05).
The same held true for white women knowing about the importance of
maintaining a health cholesterol level when compared with blacks and Hispanics
When measuring factors that influenced awareness, the researchers
found that having heard about heart disease in the news in the previous 12
months was associated with a greater awareness (OR, 1.53; 95% CI, 1.15 to
2.04), as was having a personal history of cardiovascular disease or a history
of risk factors vs. no history (OR, 1.23; 95% CI, 1.08 to 1.40). A family
history was also associated with a heightened awareness compared with no
history (OR, 1.10; 95% CI, 1.02 to 1.18).
The news media was viewed as a barrier in improving heart health.
Forty-nine percent of respondents said news media reports confused them and
kept them from improving their health, 44% said the fate of their health was
in the hands of a higher power, and 36% said their care-taking
responsibilities prevented them from taking preventive action against heart
Dr. Mosca said women might be confused by the news media because
of reports on research findings that conflict with one another. "The public
needs to hear messages and results in context," she said. "We actually learn a
lot when studies conflict. How does this new finding fit into what we know and
is it really ready for prime time in terms of changing our behavior and our
Nevertheless, she said, awareness rates are on the rise and more
women are beginning to understand the importance of managing their
cardiovascular disease risks.
Dr. Mosca added that these findings should be interpreted
cautiously. The data are based on self-reports so there's the potential for
inaccuracy. She also noted that the cross-sectional design of the study does
not determine cause and effect.
Primary source: Circulation: Journal of the American Heart
Mosca et al, "National Study of Women's Awareness, Preventive
Action, and Barriers to Cardiovsacular Health," Circulation, Feb. 1, 2006
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