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Most Americans misinformed about, unafraid of heart disease: survey

February 12, 2014

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Cleveland – Most U.S. adults may be misinformed about heart disease despite it being the top killer of both men and women, according to a recent survey.

Researchers at the Cleveland Clinic conducted phone surveys of more than 1,000 people 18 or older. Nearly three-quarters said they are not afraid they will die from heart disease.

Among other survey findings:

  • 61 percent of Americans incorrectly believe vitamins or supplements can help prevent heart disease.
  • Only 30 percent know that unusual fatigue, sleep disturbances, and jaw pain can all be signs of heart disease.
  • 44 percent incorrectly believe cholesterol, a heart disease contributor, can be lowered by vitamins.

Researchers also found that only 26 percent of people with a family history of heart disease – a large risk factor – were taking steps to improve their cardiovascular health. These steps include eating right, exercising regularly and refraining from smoking.

The survey was part of Cleveland Clinic’s Love Your Heart campaign, coinciding with American Heart Month.