Research & planning

Men and Women are Equal but Different, Signs of a Heart Attack
Are Not the Same for Woman as Men. 

Heart Disease is the #1 leading killer of men and women in the US and Canada. However, woman are far more likely to be under diagnosed with heart disease due to atypical symptoms and testing that only detects symptoms of a heart attack in men. The early signs for women are subtle and include shortness of breath, weakness, fatigue, dizziness (Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, 2017). “Women tend to have disease in the small vessels of their heart, while men are more likely to have disease in their major coronary arteries,” according to Dr. Tara Sedlak, director of the Leslie Diamond Woman’s Heart Health Centre in Vancouver. (Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, 2017). 94% of woman have at least one risk factor of heart disease. Woman who are undereducated, low income, have less access to health care and less physical activity have the least knowledge about cardiovascular disease risk (Jones, et al. 2007). Since heart disease is the # 1 killer of woman, as a Central New York Health Community, located in the heart of downtown Syracuse, Upstate University Hospital needs to help educate those woman who may not have the resources to advocate for themselves and their health.    

 In order to help the publics who are undereducated, low income, and female; we need to develop a campaign that targets these women in their communities on the risks of cardiovascular disease and what they can do to change their lifestyle to lessen the risk of the disease. Using the Heart of Woman initiative as an example that was launched in Brooklyn in 2011 to help educate the African American population about heart disease by educating hair salons and stylists on the risks of heart disease and turn them into health ambassadors to their customers. The Upstate Medical University can join forces with Planned Parenthood to reach more women from all ethnic groups in the Central New York locations to educate woman on the risks of cardiovascular disease and what to do to reduce their individual risks. Planned Parenthood is a perfect partner because they reach out to 75% of patients with incomes at or below 150% of the federal poverty level (Planned Parent Hood by the Numbers). During annual gynecological visits, doctors can perform EKG’s on their patients, ask about their lifestyle habits, talk about the signs of a heart attack in women and suggest ways the patient can reduce their heart disease risks. In addition, Upstate University can provide “Heart Health for Women” brochures that can be given to patients after the visit with their doctor that provides information on what to do if you think you are having a heart attack for woman as well as diet and exercise tips. In addition to the partnership with Planned Parenthood, a billboard campaign on highways 690 and 490 as well as the Centro bus line during National Go Red Month in February can feature a woman and man with the headline “Men and Women are Equal but Different, Signs of a Heart Attack are not the Same for Woman as Men. Know the Signs," On National Wear Red Day, an Upstate University’s spokesperson can do a spot on the local Syracuse morning show Bridge Street discussing the signs of heart attack in woman and what to do to reduce the risk of heart disease. 

I believe by taking these steps to reach out to our local community, Upstate Medical University can make a difference in the lives of woman who are undereducated and low income which increases their risk of heart disease. It is our job as a community leader to help those in need and change the way we diagnose and treat woman with possible heart disease symptoms.


Heart Disease; Fighting Heart Disease Among Black Women in Brooklyn. (2011). Heart
Disease Weekly, p. 264.

Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. (2017). (rep.). Ms Understood Heart and Stroke 2018 Heart Report. Retrieved from 

Jones, Deborah E, Weaver, Michael T, & Friedmann, Erika. (2007). Promoting Heart Health in Women. Workplace Health & Safety, 55(7), 271-276.

Planned Parent By the Numbers. (n.d.).

Created as part of the requirements for a writing assignment and not meant to be published nor to represent the organization(s) listed herein.

Contact Me

Send me a message, I would love to hear from you!

Instagram @elizastudios