Women more unaware of link to heart diseaseNews added by Benefits Pro on March 28, 2016

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By Jack Craver

A new study reveals a troubling lack of awareness among women about the risk posed to them by heart disease.

The survey of 1,000 U.S. adult females found that three-quarters reported at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease, such as diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, family members with heart disease or irregular menstruation.

And yet, many of those who reported those risk factors were unaware of their potential link to heart disease. Only 16 percent of respondents said they had been told by a doctor that they were at risk. In contrast, more than a third have been told by a physician to lose weight.

According to study author C. Noel Bairey Merz, director of the Barbara Streisand Women's Heart Center, the results highlight that the medical community still operates on debunked assumptions that women do not face as great a risk of heart disease as men. In fact, the disease is the number one killer for both sexes.

"They are most often told to lose weight rather than have their blood pressure and blood cholesterol checked," Bairey Merz said in a press release from the American College of Cardiology. "If women don't think they're going to get heart disease and they're being told by society and their doctors that everything would be fine if they just lost weight, that explains the paradox of why women aren't going in for the recommended heart checks. Who wants to be told to lose weight?"

Barey Merz acknowledged that obesity was a major health concern, and that it is certainly linked to heart disease, but suggested that too much emphasis on weight loss can keep patients away from the doctor. As a result, they are not receiving enough information on other conditions that could put them at risk of heart disease.

Originally posted on BenefitsPro.com
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