Only One In Three Women Believe They Are Personally At Risk For Heart Disease
A Lifetime Women’s Pulse Poll (released February 1, 2006), conducted in conjunction with leading national health experts and organizations, reveals that women are increasingly aware of the dangers of heart disease and recognize that it is the #1 killer of women, but few acknowledge their personal risk and most report that dialogue is lacking between women and their health care providers on this critical subject. The poll shows a large window of opportunity to increase awareness of the importance of reducing risk factors of heart disease, promote action that will significantly improve women’s heart health and encourage conversation between patients and health care professionals.
Although the odds are against them, few acknowledge their personal risk for heart disease:
Women are being screened, but NOT talking to their health care providers about risks:
Personal knowledge is high and motivates many to act:
68% of women said that they know someone who suffers from or has died from heart-related illness.
The survey was released to coincide with National Wear Red Day, a day of heart health awareness for women across the country, and to launch Lifetime Television’s public education initiative, “Don’t Skip a Beat,” which is a part of the network’s new over-arching women’s health and well-being campaign “Our Lifetime Commitment: Living Healthy.”
Leading experts and organizations on women and heart disease helped inform the poll’s questions, and identified important trends to focus on. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s The Heart Truth campaign, Sister to Sister: Everyone Has a Heart Foundation and WomenHeart: the National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease all offered valuable insights to help measure awareness and the depth of knowledge that women have of heart disease and its risk factors.
Meredith Wagner, Executive Vice President of Public Affairs, Lifetime Entertainment Services, said, “We hope this poll, as well as our campaign, will help further drive the message that women need to become even more involved in their heart health.”
"It's heartening to see that The Heart Truth and its partners are succeeding in helping more and more women learn about their #1 killer and understand their own personal risk," said Dr. Elizabeth Nabel, Director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health. "But we still have more to do to alert women to the seriousness of heart disease, especially to the dangers of having multiple risk factors."
“Lifetime and Sister to Sister’s partnership was formed with the purpose of making a significant difference in women’s lives by helping them take control of their heart health. Women will not only learn of their own risk factors but, more importantly, they will be able to take appropriate action,” said Irene Pollin, Founder and President of Sister to Sister: Everyone Has a Heart Foundation.
Nancy Loving, Executive Director, WomenHeart, said, “These polling results demonstrate great progress: that women are much more aware of and taking heart disease more personally. However, they also underscore the fact that we are doing a poor job reaching women living in low-income communities, where heart disease is most severe and prevalent. We all need to re-focus our efforts to better serve these women."
Lifetime Women’s Pulse Poll Methodology:
Lifetime Entertainment Services:
The Heart Truth is a national awareness campaign for women about heart disease sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) in partnership with: Office on Women's Health, DHHS; WomenHeart: the National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease; American Heart Association; and other organizations committed to the health and well-being of women. NHLBI created and launched the Red Dress as the national symbol for women and heart disease awareness. Coupled with the slogan "Heart Disease Doesn't Care What You Wear—It's the #1 Killer of Women", The Heart Truth and its Red Dress leverages a powerful influence in women's lives—fashion—to deliver a very serious and urgent wakeup call to American women. NHLBI continues to lead the nation in a landmark heart health awareness movement that is being embraced by millions, and its Red Dress symbol is fast becoming one of the most recognizable health symbols in the United States. For more information, please visit www.hearttruth.gov.
Sister to Sister is a 501(c)(3) foundation that is dedicated solely to bringing free heart disease screenings and “heart healthy” information and support to women to prevent heart disease. For more information, please visit www.womansheartday.org.
WomenHeart: the National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease is the nation’s only patient advocacy organization servicing the 8,000,000 American women living with heart disease. It aims to improve their quality of life and healthcare through education, support and advocacy. Founded in 1998, WomenHeart is a public charity headquartered in Washington, DC. Visit online at www.womenheart.org.