A new research has found that racial gaps continue to exist in women's heart disease awareness.
The study, published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, a journal of the American Heart Association, also revealed that nearly 50percent of women said they would not call 9-1-1 if they were having heart attack symptoms.
The findings of the study, commissioned by the American Heart Association, revealed that even though 60percent of white women were aware of heart disease as the leading cause of death for women, less than half of African-American (43 percent), Hispanic (44 percent) and Asian (34 percent) women recognised heart disease as the leading cause.
Moreover, most women did not have knowledge of evidence-based therapies for preventing cardiovascular disease, and 50percent of women ages 25-34 were unaware of heart disease as women's No. 1 killer, demonstrating the need for prevention education to avert death and disability from heart disease.
Lori Mosca, lead author of the paper and Director of Preventive Cardiology at New York-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City, said: "The American Heart Association just announced its 2020 strategic goal: by 2020, to improve the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20 percent while reducing deaths from cardiovascular diseases and stroke by 20 percent.
"Our study shows that these goals will be virtually impossible to achieve without first creating awareness among multicultural and younger women, educating women about the warning signs of heart attack and underscoring the importance of calling 9-1-1 immediately if they are experiencing heart attack symptoms."
The study surveyed women to measure their current awareness of CVD risk and barriers to prevention and, from previous surveys, evaluated awareness trends since 1997.
For the 2009 survey, 2,300 women age 25 or older were interviewed (1,142 by phone; 1,158 online). Telephone data was used to understand changes since 1997.
In 2009, online respondents received additional survey questions about caregiving, preventive actions and barriers to healthy behaviours, to set a baseline for future data.
Of women surveyed by telephone, 54 percent understood that CVD is the leading cause of death among women, compared with 30 percent in 1997.
Mosca said: "It's particularly important that national campaigns cut through the mixed messages women receive and deliver the facts about how they can prevent heart disease.
"Despite recent research showing no benefit of antioxidant vitamins in women, the majority of women surveyed cited them as a way to prevent heart disease." (ANI)