A Cleveland Clinic survey finds that most Americans – including 80 percent of millennials – don’t know heart disease is the leading cause of death for women.
Many of the respondents incorrectly thought it was breast cancer.
“I think it’s important for young people to be aware, because heart disease is preventable,” said Dr. Leslie Cho, director of the Cleveland Clinic Women’s Cardiovascular Center. “We can control our blood pressure, risk of diabetes, cholesterol, and obviously smoking cessation is a huge part of lowering your risk for heart disease.”
Family history is one risk factor for heart disease, but 90 percent of the other risk factors are preventable. The survey found that only 8 percent of Americans knew that.
It’s important for people to prevent heart disease as early as possible, which is why awareness is key, Cho said.
“Awareness is really important because it changes how we view our future health,” she said.
When people are aware of the risk factors, they are more likely to get their blood pressure checked or eat better to prevent heart disease, Cho said.