Awareness of heart disease risk still lacking in women

March 19, 2010

Despite a gain in public awareness, almost half of all American women are unaware that heart disease is the leading cause of death in women.

Circulation. [online] February 10, 2010
Despite some gains in public awareness, almost half of all American women are unaware that heart disease is the leading cause of death in women, according to researchers at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City. They analyzed data from a phone survey of 1,142 women aged 25 years and older and 1,158 women surveyed online. Results were compared to data from similar surveys conducted since 1997. The researchers found that 54 percent of participants identified heart disease or heart attack as the leading cause of death in women in 2009, compared to 30 percent in 1997. However, the number was not significantly different from 2006. Knowledge of this information has risen substantially among Hispanic and African-American women, but they still were less likely to be aware than Caucasian women.