Health Encyclopedia

 

Health Encyclopedia Home



Survey Finds Most Americans Misinformed About Heart Disease

Survey Finds Most Americans Misinformed About Heart Disease

TUESDAY, Feb. 11, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Most Americans have a hard time separating fact from fiction when it comes to heart health, new research finds.

Although heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States, a Cleveland Clinic survey revealed that many Americans aren't worried about their heart health and are not taking any steps to guard against future heart trouble.

The survey of about 1,000 men and women aged 18 and older showed that 74 percent of Americans are not worried about dying from heart disease, and 32 percent are not taking any steps to prevent the condition. Even among the 39 percent of Americans with a family history of heart disease who are at significantly higher risk, only 26 percent are taking action to protect their heart health.

"Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of men and women in this country, so it's disappointing to see that so many Americans are unaware of the severity of not taking action to prevent heart disease, or how exactly to do so," Dr. Steven Nissen, chairman of cardiovascular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, said in a clinic news release.

"This is a disease that can largely be prevented and managed, but you have to be educated about how to do so and then incorporate prevention into your lifestyle," Nissen said.

The survey, which was conducted as part of the Cleveland Clinic's "Love Your Heart" consumer-education campaign, also found that most Americans do not recognize the signs of heart trouble.

Although 64 percent of Americans have heart disease or know someone who does, 70 percent of Americans are unaware of all the symptoms of the condition, the researchers found. Less than a third were able to identify unusual fatigue, sleep disturbances and jaw pain as a few of the possible signs of heart disease.

Meanwhile, Americans also have their vitamin facts wrong. Although there are no vitamins that can promote heart health, the survey found that 44 percent of Americans think vitamins can lower cholesterol and 61 percent wrongly believe that vitamins or supplements can help prevent heart disease.

Even fish oil supplements do little to prevent heart disease, the researchers said. Still, 55 percent of Americans believe taking the recommended daily dose of fish oil can ward off the condition. The researchers also cautioned that seafood could be just as high in cholesterol as red meat. The survey showed, however, that only 45 percent of Americans are aware of this.

Americans are also not up to speed on sources of sodium. When it comes to salt, about 32 percent of people wrongly believe that cheese is the biggest culprit, the survey found. Just 24 percent of Americans were aware that bread products typically have a higher salt content.

The survey also showed that almost 60 percent of Americans think there is a heart disease gene that helps determine their risk for the condition. Scientists have not yet identified any such gene.

However, having a family history of heart disease is one of the most significant risk factors for the disease, the researchers said. This can predispose you to the condition even if you take all the right steps to protect your heart health.

"There is no single way to prevent heart disease, given that every person is different," Nissen said. "Yet there are five things everyone should learn when it comes to their heart health because they can make an enormous difference: eat right; exercise regularly; know your cholesterol, blood pressure and body-mass index numbers; do not use tobacco; and know your family history."

"Taking these steps can help lead to a healthier heart and a longer, more vibrant life," he said.

More information

The American Heart Association provides more information on how to prevent heart disease.

SOURCE: Cleveland Clinic, news release, Feb. 7, 2014

 
Related Items
Wellness Library
  Prevention of Heart Disease Starts in Childhood
SCC Videos
  Heart Attacks
Nutritional Supplement Advisor
  Hawthorn
Drug Reference
  Garlic, Allium sativum
  Fluvastatin
  Aspirin, ASA; Pravastatin
  Lovastatin
Quizzes
  Coronary Artery Disease and Angioplasty Quiz
MRAs
  Coronary Artery Disease Assessment
Disease Management
  Medications for Coronary Artery Disease
Daily News Feed
  Kidney Stones Tied to Raised Heart Disease Risk in Women
  Drug for Pulmonary Hypertension Shows 'Modest' Benefit in Studies
  Former President George W. Bush Gets Heart Stent
  Former President Bush Home After Heart Surgery
  High Cholesterol May Be Particularly Bad for Middle-Aged Men
  Clearing More Arteries Works in Angioplasty Trial
  Even Younger Women With Diabetes May Face Higher Odds for Heart Disease
  High Smog Levels Tied to Serious Heart Problems
  Link Seen Between Hardening of Arteries, Alzheimer's Plaques
  Bypass May Beat Angioplasty for Diabetics With Heart Disease
  Stenting of Neck Arteries Tied to Higher Stroke Risk in Seniors
  Radiation for Breast Cancer May Raise Heart Risks: Study
  Metformin Won't Help Heart Patients Without Diabetes: Study
  Program Helps Heart Patients Stick With Meds After Leaving Hospital
  Heart Valve Replacement May Be Getting Safer for Seniors
  Statins Not Linked to Memory Loss, Dementia, Review Suggests
  Mild Heart Disease May Pose Equal Risks for Men and Women
  Dementia Risk Might Rise for Older Women With Heart Disease
  Fiber-Rich Foods May Cut Your Risk of Heart Disease
  'Stress Gene' Might Raise Odds for Heart Attack, Death, Study Shows
  Many Hispanic Women Unaware of Heart Disease Risk Factors
  Sunlight Might Be Good for Your Blood Pressure: Study
  Sleep During the Day May Throw Genes Into Disarray
  Health Tip: Being Active With Heart Failure
  CDC to Launch Latest Graphic Anti-Smoking Campaign
  Taking Care of Your Heart
  Another Win for the Mediterranean-Style Diet
  High Blood Pressure in Young Adults Could Mean Heart Trouble in Middle Age
  New Guidelines Aim to Lower Stroke Risk in Women
  Early Treatment for Depression May Be Good for the Heart
  Fewer Heart Patients Now Dying From Heart Disease, Study Shows
  Low-Dose Statins Good Option for Some Heart Patients: Study
  Supportive Mate a Good Match for Your Heart
  Healthy Adults Shouldn't Take Vitamin E, Beta Carotene: Expert Panel
  Lack of Sleep Compounds Health Problems for Obese Teens: Study
  Tragedies Do Cause Broken Hearts, Study Suggests
  Take Heart: Mediterranean Diet Combats Type 2 Diabetes, Study Says
  Cholesterol Levels Spike During Winter Months, Study Finds
  Marriage Does Help the Heart, Study Finds
  Vitamin D Deficiency May Be Linked to Heart Disease
  Smoke-Free Policies May Protect the Heart
  New Drug Lowers Cholesterol Beyond What Statins Can Do, Study Finds
  Can Diet Soft Drinks Contribute to Heart Trouble in Women?
  Stem Cells May Rejuvenate Failing Hearts, Study Suggests
  Heart Disease Haunted Mummies, Too
  Exercise, Diet May Help 'Pre-Diabetics' Dodge Heart Disease Death
  A Little Wine Might Help Kidneys Stay Healthy
  Ironclad Findings About Red Meat's Harms?
  Statin Users Eating More Bad Food Than a Decade Ago, Study Shows
  Is Healthy Obesity a Myth?
  Exercise Crucial for Women's Heart Health After 30, Study Finds
  FDA Approves New Type of Anti-Clotting Drug
  Walking at Home Can Help Boost Poor Circulation in Legs, Study Shows
  Diabetes May Be Bigger Threat to the Female Heart: Study
  Diabetics Fare Worse After Heart Surgery, Study Finds
  More Hispanics Took Heart Meds After Medicare Part D Launch
  1 in 10 Heart Attack Patients May Have Undiagnosed Diabetes
  Heart Patients Without Artery Plaque Buildup Still Face Risks: Study
  Depression Doubles Odds of Heart Attack for Younger Women: Study
  Poor More Prone to Leg Circulation Trouble
  A Little Alcohol May Not Be Good for Your Heart After All
  Is Obesity an Advantage After Heart Procedures?
  Childhood Sex Abuse May Be Linked to Heart Disease Risk in Women
Adult Diseases and Conditions
  Echocardiography (Echo)
  Ultrafast CT (Computed Tomography) Scan