AHA Recommendations for Preventing Heart Disease in Women
Currently, there has been momentous development in treatment, awareness, and prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in women. Nursing, medical, and scientific communities take much credit for the current development in handling cardiovascular disease. Despite the major progress in handling CVD, much effort is required to bridge the knowledge gap on risk reduction strategies and preventive interventions. Intensive efforts to educate the women about the risk of CVD and raise awareness in the past 10 years have been observed (Sherrod et al, 2013). However, the education gap poses great challenge in tackling the risk, especially among the women.
There are major risk challenges and disparities in delivery of health services in United States, especially on preventing CVD among the women. Great health disparities have featured between the black and white women. There are more cases of CVD among the black American women unlike on the white American women. There has been much underestimation on the risk of CVD which has seen increase in heart disease cases among the women. Current reports indicate that 55,000 more women than men suffer a stroke (Sherrod et al, 2013). This clearly signifies that much attention should be paid in order to level health disparities affecting genuine intervention to prevent heart disease in women.
In order to address this problem, 2007 guidelines were designed by a panel of experts from AHA (American Heart Association) in order to create more emphasize on prevention and awareness on heart disease on women (Sherrod et al, 2013). In more efforts to combat CVD in women, 2011 guidelines with effective based updates were availed with more focus on prevention and awareness of the heart disease. The 2011 guidelines focus on lifestyle changes which are considered the most cost-effective and clinically effective preventive measures for reducing CVD. Specific recommendations by guideline included: avoiding smoking, engaging physical activity, maintaining healthy body weight, controlling cholesterol levels, and establishment of comprehensive risk reduction regiment for women with CVD.
The main reason behind increased CVD among American women is lack of proper weight control which has seen close to two of every three women above 20 years being overweight or obese (Sherrod et al, 2013). Suggestions from current research indicate that the obesity prevalence is responsible for backward progress in CVD prevention interventions.
Sherrod, M. M., Sherrod, N. M., Spitzer, M. T. & Cheek, D. J. (2013). AHA recommendations for preventing heart disease in women. Nursing, 43(5), 61-65.