Heart disease is a serious health problem that poses a significant danger to the population. In this paper, the issue of heart disease among women in the U.S. is considered, and some ways in which the situation can be improved are discussed.
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The problem of heart disease among women is of paramount importance nowadays because it is a leading cause of death among females in the United States (Arslanian-Engoren, 2016). However, surveying has shown that only approximately half of the American females are aware of this fact and that among the women of color the rates of awareness are even lower (Arslanian-Engoren, 2016).
It is also noteworthy that globally, heart disease affects men more often, but in the U.S., the prevalence of and mortality due to heart disease is higher among women (Odle, 2013). Therefore, it is crucial to raise the awareness of women, as well as of the medical specialists, about this issue; in particular, it is paramount to do so to more efficaciously implement preventive measures against this class of health problems.
This problem is directly related to my area of specialization. As a medic specializing in Labor and Delivery, I will work mostly with women. As a nurse, I will have the knowledge and symbolic capital sufficient for promoting the change in the area of heart disease prevention. It is in my plans to become a nurse practitioner, and the minimum which I will be able to do is to educate my patients about the factors that increase the likelihood of heart disease and to promote the ways of its prevention, forming partnerships with my patients (Arslanian-Engoren, 2016). Also, I will be able to spread the information on heart disease via networking, as well as by organizing various campaigns aimed at raising the population’s awareness of the issue.
There is evidence that allows for concluding that raising the population’s awareness may allow for improving the situation related to heart disease in females. For instance, Mehta, Wei, and Wenger (2015) remind their readers that hypertension, smoking, diabetes, and unhealthy lifestyle increase the likelihood of ischemic heart disease; the authors also stress that, for instance, obstructive sleep apnea is a risk factor as well.
It seems that the last factor is not a well-known one among the general population; furthermore, even if people have heard about the other risk factors, it is apparent that they do not realize how serious the problem is, especially taking into account the low rates of awareness about heart disease being the leading cause of death among American women (Arslanian-Engoren, 2016). Therefore, since many of the risk factors are potentially within the patients’ control, raising awareness may stimulate them to address these risk factors. Simultaneously, for those factors that cannot be controlled by patients, being aware of them might prompt them to “watch out” for heart disease and seek medical aid if they suspect that they are at risk of it.
The described project will be an evidence-based one, the aim of which will be to raise the women’s awareness of the problem of heart disease, and their knowledge on the risk factors that increase the likelihood of this class of conditions, the ways to detect potential heart disease, and the means to prevent it. Because the crux of the project will be to spread the already existing knowledge rather than to conduct research, its outcome will be improving the outcomes of women rather than generating new evidence.
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Therefore, the problem of heart disease among American females is of critical importance, and raising awareness of this issue may help decrease the harm that this type of medical condition causes. As a nurse practitioner, I believe I will be able to contribute to promoting knowledge about this problem, hopefully improving the outcomes of women who are at risk of this kind of illness.
Arslanian-Engoren, C. (2016). Building partnerships to reduce heart disease in women. Heart & Lung: The Journal of Acute and Critical Care, 45(3), 161. DOI:10.1016/j.hrtlng.2016.03.002
Mehta, P. K., Wei, J., & Wenger, N. K. (2015). Ischemic heart disease in women: A focus on risk factors. Trends in Cardiovascular Medicine, 25(2), 140-151.
Odle, T. G. (2013). Women and heart disease. Radiologic Technology, 85(1), 37-60.