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Go Red For Women: Heart Disease Stories that Go Beyond the Red Dress

Go Red For Women: Heart Disease Stories that Go Beyond the Red Dress

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go red for women, heart disease, barbara feder ostrov, reporting on health

There are plenty of stories about Friday's Go Red For Women day, when women are asked to wear red to raise awareness of the fact that heart disease is the top killer of American women.

You'd be hard pressed to find much substantial reporting on issues facing women with heart disease, though, amid all the event listings and corporate tie-ins with the American Heart Association's long-running Go Red campaign. That's what I mostly found in the 795 stories that came up in a Nexis search of women and heart disease for the month of January.

There are a few exceptions: Bella English's nicely-written Boston Globe profile of a fitness instructor who suffered a heart attack that emergency room staff thought was a panic attack. (Too bad the subject was hand-delivered by the American Heart Association.) Cynthia Billhartz Gregorian's St. Louis Post-Dispatch feature about a hardcore fitness instructor working to improve black women's health addressed the issue of obesity and heart disease in an unconventional and appealing way.

Here are some story ideas that might educate your readers a bit more than wearing a red dress.

1. Heart disease and the uninsured. What happens after an uninsured woman has a heart attack and is treated in your community's safety net hospital? Does she get any follow-up care? Who pays for it?

2. Environment. Do women in your community have safe places to exercise and access to produce and other healthy foods? If not, how do they try to stay heart-healthy?  

3. Access to Research. It's been said that women are both overrepresented and underrepresented in medical research. How has women's access to medical studies involving heart disease prevention and treatment changed in recent years?

4. Ethnic Disparities. Latinas, for example, are more likely to suffer from heart disease than their white counterparts and are less likely to know they are at higher risk. What's being done to help educate and prevent heart disease among women of color in your community?

Photo credit: GoRedForWomen via Flickr


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This is an interesting article.

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