We need more public awareness about women and heart disease

We need more public awareness about women and heart disease

While most women know the risk, factors related to heart disease, in a recent national survey nearly 40% still think heart disease is a man’s disease and over half had never had a heart health check with their doctor.

Her Heart supported by the Victorian Government completed a Women’s Heart Health Survey in 2019 with nearly 800 people (98% female responders). The largest age group who experienced heart problems were women in the 45-54-year age group, more than that seen in the 65–74 year age group, with over 50% indicating a family history of heart disease.

Encouragingly, over 90% believed women could reduce their risk of heart disease, with most identifying stopping smoking, lowering blood pressure and weight and reducing cholesterol as factors they could work on.

More information is needed about the role of stress on heart health as this risk factor was the least identified as being a risk, even though we know the effects of stress can increase heart rate, reduce sleep quality, and cause lowered mood.

Nearly all (91%) thought there was not enough public health awareness about women and heart disease, with the largest groups saying this being in the 18–24-year age group and those 75 years and over.