Noticeable decline in heart disease awareness among women of color, study finds

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – February is Black History Month as well as Heart Month, and a special report from the American Heart Association found an alarming decline in heart disease awareness among women in the U.S., including critical gaps among younger women and women of color.

Heather Thorpe, a nurse practitioner at Ascension St. Vincent’s and volunteer with the American Heart Association, said cardiovascular disease claims the lives of one in every three women.

“Unfortunately, we have noticed that Hispanic women have had the most decline (in cardiovascular disease awareness) followed by African-American women and women in the age group 25 to 34,” Thorpe said.

Thorpe said the study showed 52% of women knew chest pain was a symptom, 38% knew that symptoms include pain radiating in the shoulders, neck or arms and only 28% knew that shortness of breath is a symptom.

“All of these symptoms are signs of a heart attack,” Thorpe said.

For more important information from the study and what the AHA is doing to raise awareness, watch the video at the top of this article.

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