Dr. Holly Andersen to Present Results From the Women Speak Up About Personalized Heart Health Awareness Survey at Annual AHA Conference

Nov 8, 2015

New York

Dr. Holly Anderson on top of a photo of a presentation from the back of the room

An alarming 45 percent of women don’t know that heart disease is the number one killer of women in the United States.

At this year’s American Heart Association Scientific Meeting in Orlando, Florida, Dr. Holly Andersen, director of education and outreach at the Ronald O. Perelman Heart Institute at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center and medical advisor to the Women’s Heart Alliance (WHA) will present results of the first survey of its kind to address women’s heart health awareness.

The presentation will be made at a news conference on Sunday, November 8 at an 8:00 a.m. press conference in the News Media Center.

Every minute, a woman dies from heart disease, and heart disease kills more women in the U.S. than all cancers combined. The Women Speak up About Personalized Heart Health Awareness Survey shows that an alarming 45 percent of women don’t know it’s their number one killer. Even though women make up more than half of the U.S. population, for the last 50 years, the treatment of women’s hearts has been largely based on medical research on men.

To understand women’s perspectives on heart disease, the WHA commissioned GfK to conduct a survey of more than 1,000 women in the U.S. Despite it being a top concern among women, most women are not talking about heart disease with friends or family (76 percent never or rarely talk about it) and are not bringing up the topic with their doctors (46 percent never bring up the subject with MDs). Nearly half of the women surveyed (49 percent) expect that their doctor will bring up the topic. In a similar survey conducted among primary care physicians and cardiologists, they too report that most women do not bring up the topic during visits.

The survey also found that despite this being a woman’s number killer, few (27 percent) can name a woman with heart disease and even fewer (11 percent) can name a woman who has died from it.

“Lack of awareness, communication and personalization of women’s heart disease is a deadly combination,” said Dr. Andersen.

“All women and those who love them need to start talking and taking action against this killer. All women should get heart checked.”


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