Myths about heart disease among urban women revealed

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Dr.Vivek Mehan - Cardiologist, Mumbai.,

Setting the Context

One of the recent studies by WHO indicated that, by the year 2010, India will have highest number of heart patients. It is expected that, as in the rest of the world, women will be as prone to this as men. This fact is, however, not well understood or known. To promote awareness of heart care among women, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute has launched a nationwide running campaign in the US.

The My Fit Heart Program has teamed up with eminent cardiologists across the country to create a similar campaign in India. The Women and Heart Care Program has been initiated with a study among urban women to assess awareness levels on heart care. 

A survey on awareness of urban women in India on heart care as well as overall attitude to health was conducted in Mumbai under the guidance of Dr. Vivek Mehan. The survey was conducted on a random sample of 250 women aged above 25. This report lists the survey findings and conclusions.



Survey Methodology

A structured questionnaire was used to elicit responses from over 250 women above the age of 25. The survey was conducted over the phone and through email. 

The questionnaire assessed the level of awareness about heart diseases, preventive measures for heart disease and knowledge of the available cures for heart ailments among urban Indian women.

Questions were also posed to determine how proactive the respondents were with regard to keeping fit and adopting a healthy lifestyle.



Demographic profile of the sample



A. Health consciousness among urban women in India 

Two aspects taken into consideration to analyze the health consciousness: 

§Initiative shown in adopting a routine of regular exercise



§Proactively going for regular health check ups



Routine of regular exercise




Proactively taking regular health check up 



Observation:

Most surveyed women go for a health check up only they have a health problem.


Inference:

Women do not proactively have a health check up and this results in their being unaware of their BP, Cholesterol, Blood Sugar levels, etc. This can result in undue delay in realizing their health problems.

Frequency of getting an ECG test done



Observation:

Most of the women do go for ECG test whenever they have a health problem

Inference:

Women do not proactively take ECG and Cholesterol test. Most of them take a test when prescribed by a doctor / suspect some health problem.

B. Awareness about Heart Care & Diseases

The awareness level was analyzed by taking into consideration the following aspects:

1. Awareness of Heart diseases
2. Awareness of treatments for Heart ailments
3. Awareness of prevention techniques for heart diseases
4. Awareness of symptoms of heart diseases
5. Awareness level about stress test as a modality of detection for CAD.

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