Women’s health - Heart warning

OUR perception of some diseases is not always accurate. Sometimes, maybe because of a particularly effective education campaign, we might imagine that one particular disease represents a particularly potent threat and deserves a prominent place in the hierachy of illnesses we face.

The Irish Heart Foundation yesterday reminded us that perception can often be pretty different from reality — the foundation pointed out that women are six times more likely to die from cardiovascular disease or stroke than from breast cancer. A third of all Irish women are expected to die from a heart attack.

It does not in any way question the efforts made in the early identification of breast cancer to suggest that it might be prudent to place more emphasis on changing the habits that contribute to heart disease and strokes. Especially as, as the report pointed out, “80% of cardiovascular disease is preventable and a positive lifestyle can alter risk factors for cardiovascular disease”. Essentially, it pointed out that the first step in resolving a problem is recognising it.

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