Eight in 10 women don’t know heart disease is big killer among UK females, poll

Eight in 10 women are unaware that heart disease is one of the biggest killers of females in the UK, research has revealed.

Almost 25,000 women die each year in the UK from heart disease – twice as many as breast cancer.

However, a survey of 2,000 women revealed women are twice as likely to see breast cancer (86%) as a health concern compared to heart disease (43%).

And 84% weren’t aware heart disease was such a big killer of women.

It also emerged 62% didn’t know the symptoms of heart problems are different in women to men, suggesting a significant gap between perception and reality when it comes to how heart disease can affect women.

Just one in five women thinks poor diet is a key factor in developing heart-related illnesses.

Overall, 82% of women said there was not enough awareness of how heart disease can affect them.

The research was carried out by California Almonds, which has teamed up with Dr Alex George to highlight the importance of a heart-smart diet.

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Dr Alex said: "By making just a few small changes, you can have a big impact on reducing your risk and protecting your heart.

"Diet is the easiest place to start, incorporating heart-smart foods, like almonds, can help to reduce the risk of developing some heart-related illnesses.

"Understanding what’s in our foods is fundamental to knowing what is good, and what we should be eating less of.

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"Replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats contributes to the maintenance of normal blood cholesterol levels, helping keep our hearts healthy.

"Almonds, for example, are packed with healthy unsaturated fats, and have been found to significantly reduce 'bad' LDL cholesterol which can build up inside our blood vessels, while having no significant impact on 'good' HDL cholesterol levels, which helps to remove LDL cholesterol from the body."

The study found more than half of women have absolutely no concerns at all about heart health being something that could affect them in the future.

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As many as 83% of women said they are unlikely to suffer from heart disease – because they don’t smoke, exercise regularly and are not overweight.

And just a third understand the disease to be something which is hereditary – when in fact a genetic or inherited condition can mean you could suffer heart problems despite appearing perfectly healthy.

The research, carried out via OnePoll for California Almonds, revealed fats are another point of confusion for many.

Six in 10 women were unsure of the difference between good and bad fat, despite more than half agreeing that good fats are important to look for in foods to reduce the risk of a heart-related illness.

Cholesterol is also an area of uncertainty, with 47% unaware that high LDL cholesterol levels can increase the risk of a heart condition.

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