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Many Women Misinformed About Heart Disease

Study Shows Lack of Knowledge About Heart Attack Symptoms

Misunderstanding of Prevention Strategies continued...

Those surveyed said that better access to healthy foods and public recreation facilities as well as listing nutritional information in restaurants would make it easier for them to follow healthier lifestyles. Right now, the most common reason they did not do so was that they were busy taking care of a loved one. The second most common reason cited for failing to follow a heart-healthy lifestyle was uncertainty about how to proceed, which stemmed from confusing media reports.

The findings underscore the importance of heart disease education among women and their families. Educational campaigns can help prevent death and disability from cardiovascular disease, the researchers say.

"It's particularly important that national campaigns cut through the mixed messages women receive and deliver the facts about how they can prevent heart disease," says Mosca.

The American Heart Association recently announced its strategic goal for 2020: improve the cardiovascular health of Americans by 20% and reduce heart disease-related and stroke-related deaths by the same amount.

"Our study shows that these goals will be virtually impossible to achieve without first creating awareness among multicultural and younger women, educating women about the warning signs of heart attack and underscoring the importance of calling 9-1-1 immediately if they are experiencing heart attack symptoms," Mosca says.

The findings appear in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

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