Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The heart of the issue

This week, in support of our iheartmom.ca campaign for women's heart health, I'm going to look at the development of female-specific heart disease awareness as a social marketing initiative.

Heart disease is the #1 killer of women, but has far less mindshare than breast and cervical cancer in the public discussion of women's health.

Why is this? Part of the problem, according to the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, is that women's heart attack symptoms are different (and often less dramatic) than men's. They can be mistaken for an anxiety attack, flu, or general lightheadedness.

You can see the low awareness of women's heart health in this American PSA from two years ago:

And here is a good explanation of women-specific symptoms and issues:

The situation is changing, though, through the World Heart Federation's "Go Red for Women" campaign.

The campaign also gets corporate and celebrity support.

The international outreach is funded by the American Heart Association's "Go Red" movement, around Valentine's Day and Heart Month.

Here in Canada, the Red Dress campaign recently took the form of The Heart Truth Fashion Show, by the Heart & Stroke Foundation.

(Photo from Contact Music)

Hey, that model looks familiar.

Oh, yeah. It's Joannie Rochette.

Please support, and spread the word about, women's heart health. Visit iheartmom.ca

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