When I was a newbie in Washington, DC in the 90s working for US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in the Office of Organ Transplantation (DOT), one of my jobs was organizing public hearings to finalize organ allocation policies —
I’m often asked what it’s like to live with heart disease. For me, the physical limitations have been much less difficult to manage than the emotional and psychological ones. Heart patients are cautioned about becoming “cardiac cripples”—overly anxious and worried about their future to the point that it affects their health. Yep, I’ve done that.
When was the last time you saw a woman on TV have a heart attack?
Probably never. Only 20% of American women believe they are at risk for heart disease. Society’s view is that heart disease is a man’s disease. That’s what I thought too until I looked down at my own EKG in graduate school (circa 1978) and saw what appeared to be a
It’s definitely not your mother’s public health campaign.
When the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) launched the Heart Truth campaign seven years ago to raise awareness of women’s heart health their partners were your typical patient groups and professional medical societies.