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Keywords:

  • awareness;
  • cardiovascular disease;
  • risk factors;
  • rural;
  • women

Crouch R, Wilson A. International Journal of Nursing Practice 2010; 16: 295–300 Are Australian rural women aware of coronary heart disease?

Heart disease is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in Australian women. In 2005, 109 000 women died of heart disease and 27 000 women died of breast cancer. The reported study sought to assess rural women's level of awareness of heart disease as the leading cause of death. A self-enumerated questionnaire designed to collect information on rural women's perception and awareness of heart disease was distributed to women attending a women's health clinic in a regional hospital. Of 65 participants, 13% (n = 8) identified heart disease as the most significant health problem. Sixty-four per cent of women participating in the study reported that breast cancer claims more lives than heart disease. The authors concluded that women do not perceive heart disease as a substantial health concern. Programmes directed at young women to improve their perception of risk for heart disease and to encourage them to make healthy lifestyle choices are required to reduce overall heart disease morbidity and mortality.