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J Am Coll Cardiol. 2017 Jul 11;70(2):123-132. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2017.05.024. Epub 2017 Jun 22.

Knowledge, Attitudes, and Beliefs Regarding Cardiovascular Disease in Women: The Women's Heart Alliance.

Author information

1
Barbra Streisand Women's Heart Center, Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute, Los Angeles, California. Electronic address: merz@cshs.org.
2
Ronald O. Perelman Heart Institute, New York Presbyterian Hospital, New York, New York.
3
GMMB-GfK (Greer, Margolis, Mitchell, Burns-Gesellschaft für Konsumforschung), Washington, DC.
4
St. Vincent Hospital, Indianapolis, Indiana.
5
Society of Women's Health Research, Washington, DC.
6
WomenHeart, Washington, DC.
7
Linda Joy Pollin Women's Heart Health Program, Los Angeles, California.
8
Association of Black Cardiologists, Washington, DC.
9
American Heart Association, Dallas, Texas.
10
Food and Drug Administration Office of Women's Health, Bethesda, Maryland.
11
University of California, San Francisco, California.
12
Wellesley College, Wellesley, Massachusetts.
13
Women's Heart Alliance, Washington, DC.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the number 1 killer of women in the United States, yet few younger women are aware of this fact. CVD campaigns focus little attention on physicians and their roles in assessing risk.

OBJECTIVES:

In 2014, the Women's Heart Alliance (WHA) conducted a nationwide survey to determine barriers and opportunities for women and physicians with regard to CVD.

METHODS:

From September 18 to 26, 2014, a total of 1,011 U.S. women (age 25 to 60 years) were interviewed using the GfK ("Gesellschaft für Konsumforschung" Knowledge Panel). From May 6 to 12, 2014, the e-Rewards Inc. Physician and Healthcare Professional Panel surveyed 200 primary care physicians (PCPs) and 100 cardiologists.

RESULTS:

Overall, 45% of women were unaware that CVD is the number 1 killer of women; only 11% knew a woman who died from CVD. Overall, 45% of women reported it was common to cancel or postpone a physician appointment until losing weight. CVD was rated as the top concern by only 39% of PCPs, after weight and breast health. Only 22% of PCPs and 42% of cardiologists (p = 0.0477) felt extremely well prepared to assess CVD risk in women, while 42% and 40% felt well-prepared (p = NS), respectively. Few comprehensively implemented guidelines.

CONCLUSIONS:

CVD was rated as the top concern less frequently than weight issues by both women and physicians. Social stigma particularly regarding body weight appeared to be a barrier. Physicians reported limited training and use of guideline assessment, whereas most supported a campaign and improved physician education. Campaigns should make CVD "real" to U.S. women, countering stereotypes with facts and validated assessments. Both community women and physicians endorsed investment in women's CVD research and physician education.

KEYWORDS:

cardiovascular disease; prevention; women

PMID:
28648386
DOI:
10.1016/j.jacc.2017.05.024
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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