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HomeUncategorizedHello Heart Launches Campaign to Address Heart Health Gender Disparities - MedCity...

Hello Heart Launches Campaign to Address Heart Health Gender Disparities – MedCity News

Marissa Plescia

Charity, care, cost, expense

In the U.S., women die from heart attacks at twice the rate of men, a joint report released Wednesday by the American Heart Association and digital therapeutics company Hello Heart showed. In response to the findings, Hello Heart launched a campaign Wednesday to help women recognize heart attack symptoms.

The report discovered that compared to men, women are seven times more likely to be misdiagnosed when they are having a heart attack and be discharged from the emergency room. Even when they are correctly diagnosed, women wait 11 minutes longer than men to see a physician in the emergency room. Women of color, meanwhile, wait 15 minutes longer than white women.

Heart attack symptoms don’t always come in the form of chest pain for women, according to the report. Symptoms for women often include shortness of breath, nausea and neck discomfort, and heart attacks are frequently misdiagnosed as anxiety. In addition, women are less likely to receive medications, like aspirin and cholesterol-lowering medications, to help heart attacks.

“I think it’s time to put a spotlight around this and start raising awareness,” said Maayan Cohen, CEO of Hello Heart, in an interview. “Because we do have the power to change it. We have the power to advocate for women and give them tools to advocate for themselves.” 

That is why Hello Heart — which offers a mobile app for employers to help their employees understand their heart health — is starting the “If You Feel Something, Say Something” campaign. Through the campaign, the company is providing free marketing kits to employers to help them raise awareness among their employees about women’s heart health. These kits include posters, email materials and tip sheets that explain symptoms and gender disparities and provide resources.

One of the key challenges surrounding women’s heart health is that there are many symptoms to keep track of, Cohen said. To help people remember the symptoms, Hello Heart wrapped the symptom list into three key areas for the campaign:

  • If the symptoms feel like you carried a box of books home (pain or soreness in the chest, shoulders, arms, upper back or neck)
  • If the symptoms feel like you ate something that was in the fridge for too long (stomach discomfort, nausea, vomiting or heartburn)
  • If you feel like you just climbed a mountain (shortness of breath, fatigue, weakness, lightheadedness or sweating)

The tool kits are available to Hello Heart’s employer customers (which include Delta and Northwestern Mutual), as well as non-customers, Cohen said. The campaign will go through the month of May, which is Women’s Health Month.

By sharing the new report and launching the campaign, Cohen ultimately hopes to help women understand heart attack symptoms and advocate for their health, she said.

“Women have not been treated fairly in our medical system,” she declared. “I think it starts with us, and I think enough is enough. We need to raise awareness ourselves to the symptoms that we have. We need to start advocating for ourselves and we need to make sure that clinical teams don’t ignore women when they’re experiencing heart attacks and strokes.”

Photo: eakrin rasadonyindee, Getty Images

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