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With February being heart month there has been an uptake in the number of campaigns and publications aiming to help Americans become better informed about heart health and a goal of motivating Americans to take actions towards improving their heart health. As part of the Cleveland Clinic’s “Love Your Heart” campaign, which also aimed to educate consumers, the Cleveland Clinic conducted a survey of about 1000 Americans, all of whom were over 18 years of age.
The results from this recent survey (published in a Cleveland Clinic news release on Feb. 7, 2014) has revealed some alarming news, indicating that many Americans are still overwhelmingly misinformed about heart health and heart diseases.
With heart disease still holding strong as the number 1 cause of death for men and women in the United States, it’s disturbing that 74% of Americans reported not being worried about dying from heart diseases and 32% reported not taking any precautionary or preventative steps to help guard themselves from heart disease.
Contrary to the goals of consumer-education campaigns, many American’s were found to hold many commonly shared misconceptions regarding heart health.
Commonly shared misconceptions
- 44% think vitamins can lower cholesterol
- 61% think vitamins or supplements can help prevent heart disease
- 55% think taking fish oil can prevent heart disease
- 55% didn’t know seafood is just as high in cholesterol as red meat
- 32% though cheese was the biggest culprit for sodium content
- 76% were unaware that breads have a high sodium content
- 60% blame an unidentified ‘heart disease gene’
Even though 64% of Americans either have heart disease themselves or they know someone who does, an alarming 70% are still unaware of the signs and symptoms of heart disease. Since heart disease is a condition that can be prevented and managed, the importance of properly educating the public on about heart disease and its related topics, such as prevention, signs and symptoms, and managing heart diseases, should not be understated.