Racial and ethnic disparities in awareness of heart disease risk in women

June 6, 2012
Journal of Women’s Health, published monthly, is a core multidisciplinary journal dedicated to the diseases and conditions that hold greater risk for or are more prevalent among women, as well as diseases that present differently in women. Credit: ©2012 Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers

Awareness of the risks of heart disease and signs of a heart attack vary greatly among women of different racial and ethnic groups and ages. New data that clearly identify these disparities in heart health awareness are presented in an article in Journal of Women's Health, a peer-reviewed publication from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the Journal of Women's Health website.

In a pooled analysis from two surveys, Black and Hispanic women were 66% less likely than white women to be aware that heart disease is the leading cause of death in women, report Heidi Mochari-Greenberger, MPH, PhD, Lori Mosca, MD, MPH, PhD, New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center (New York, NY), and Kerri Miller, MA, Harris Interactive (Amherst, NH). Women younger than 55 years of age were also less well-informed about . Overall among women, awareness was low of the most common signs of , which tend to differ from those in men, according to the article "Racial/Ethnic and Age Differences in Women's Awareness of Heart Disease."

"Clearly, education that is targeted to racial/ethnic minority and younger women about risk is needed, as well as education of all women about the signs and symptoms of a heart attack," says Susan G. Kornstein, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Women's Health, Executive Director of the Virginia Commonwealth University Institute for Women's Health (Richmond, VA), and President of the Academy of Women's Health.

Explore further: Why don't more women take a daily aspirin to prevent heart disease?

More information: http://www.liebertpub.com/jwh

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