Physicians encouraging patients to start the conversation at primary care visits
COLUMBIA, Md. – To kick off American Heart Month, MedStar Health is releasing the results of its national survey shedding light on the top health concerns of Americans and their heart-related health habits.
Survey respondents (22%) said heart disease is their number one health concern, topping mental health, cancer, COVID-19, and a list of other diseases and conditions. Despite this, more than one-third said they do not discuss heart health with their provider during annual physicals.
“If you have questions or concerns about your heart health, your yearly exam is the perfect time to bring them up,” said MedStar Health Cardiologist Robert Lager, MD. “Catching heart disease early is the best way to prevent it from causing bigger problems down the road. Your primary care provider can help you take control of your heart health, and American Heart Month is a great time to remind patients of that.”
MedStar Health also checked the public’s knowledge on these important heart health facts and topics:
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for adults in the U.S.
- Only 43% of survey respondents correctly identified this.
- Only 29% identified it as the leading cause of death in women.
The five symptoms of a heart attack, which include:
- Chest pain or discomfort.
- Feeling weak, light-headed, or faint.
- Pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck, or back.
- Pain or discomfort in one or both arms or shoulders.
- Shortness of breath.
- Only 12% of Americans could identify all 5 of these symptoms.
CPR training for cardiac arrest.
- Less than half of Americans have been trained in CPR.
- Only 41% of Americans would feel comfortable administering CPR.
Recommended age for cholesterol screening.
According to the CDC, screening for high cholesterol should begin in children aged 9-11.
- Only 4% of respondents knew this.
While some may find the relatively young recommended ages for cholesterol screenings surprising, the American Academy of Pediatrics also recommends all children between 9-11 years old be screened for high blood cholesterol levels due to the growing epidemic of obesity in children.
MedStar Health’s survey included responses from 1,000 U.S. adults collected in Dec. 2022.