Did you know that heart disease is the leading cause of death of American women? If not, you're not alone. Sixty to seventy percent of women are not aware either.
Sandra B. Dunbar RN, DSN, FAAN, Charles Howard Candler Professor of Cardiovascular Nursing at Emory's Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, discussed this as she presented her invited paper, "The Meaning of Health and Cardiovascular Disease for Women," on Sunday morning at the American Heart Association's (AHA) annual Scientific Sessions in New Orleans.
"One in three women dies of heart disease. And, heart disease and stroke, respectively, are the first and third leading causes of death for women, yet surveys show that only thirty to forty percent of women know this" says Dr. Dunbar.
A woman's knowledge of these statistics is critical. How much or how little she knows is directly related to how a woman views her risk factors for cardiovascular disease and lifestyle behaviors that can aid in prevention. Dr. Dunbar spoke of striving for a one-hundred percent awareness level during her talk at the AHA session titled "Women and Cardiac Prevention: Are All Women Alike?"
Later in the week at the AHA Scientific Sessions, Patricia C. Clark PhD, RN, Emory Nursing Associate Professor, will accept the Clinical Article of Year Award from the Council on Cardiovascular Nursing for her article "Family Partnership Intervention: A Guide for a Family Approach to Care of Patients with Heart Failure." The award is given annually for a publication describing an innovative clinical practice approach likely to improve outcomes of cardiovascular nursing care. The article discusses the expectations and impact of family-focused care for patients with heart failure, and outlines steps for families to engage in positive intervention and support. Co-authored by Dr. Dunbar, the article appeared in November 2003 edition of AACN Clinical Issues.