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Physicians Neglect Discussions With Women About Heart Disease

With so much about women and heart disease in the news, can you believe that still only 4 out of 10 physicians even discuss heart disease with their female patients?!  This finding was revealed in a recent survey from the American Heart Association (AHA).

How can this be, when heart disease is the number one killer of women--as well as men--in our country?  One survey result showed that heart disease is still a seriously misunderstood illness among American women:  fewer than one in 10 see it as their greatest health threat.

This survey revealed that while only 20% of the women had actually discussed heart disease with a healthcare professional in the last year, most said that they were informed on heart disease by the media.

 Not surprisingly though, specific knowledge about heart disease was inadequate.  Only 36% of women surveyed recognized the common symptoms of stroke, and many do not know  the classic symptoms of a heart attack.

The researchers also found that a third of the women thought heart disease could suddenly develop between 35 and 49 - despite the fact that this illness is widely known to develop gradually, often starting at a very early age.

For more information, click here.

[This survey was conducted by Harris Interactive.  It assessed women's perceptions and sources of information regarding general health risks as well as heart disease and stroke. An update of a previous poll completed in 1997, the survey involved a national random sample of 1004 women older than 25 years of age who were interviewed by telephone in June and July of 2000.   It was reported in the medical journal Circulation; 5/15/01; pages 2318-2320].

Created: 7/9/2001  -  Donnica Moore, M.D.

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