"So, it was a wake-up call," she added. "Because while one in 20 or 30 women die from breast cancer, one in three women die from heart disease. But the breast cancer community had done an amazing, and much better, job of getting the message out about that important disease by using celebrity spokespersons and focusing on the importance of mammograms," Mieres explained.
"So, I think an improved partnership with the media to get science-based information out there is what is responsible for the increase in awareness," she noted.
However, Mieres suggested that the current status quo, while an improvement, is not good enough.
"I think we have to be much more aggressive in our messages so that women know that 80 percent of heart disease can be prevented by knowing your numbers and making lifestyle changes to control risk factors. And I think we have to become more culturally sensitive, and expand our media campaign to specifically address black women and Latinos through the media outlets and in the language they most often access," she said.
"Clearly," Mieres said, "we still have a long way to go."
For more on women and heart disease risk, visit the American Heart Association.
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