“I Didn’t Know I Was Having A Heart Attack”: Treato Examines How Women Are Experiencing Heart Disease Online

Timed to National Hearth Month, the Healthcare Insights Company Examines What Women Are Saying About the “Silent Killer”

Wednesday, February 24, 2016 — The majority of women misunderstand the signs of a heart attack, according to a data analysis released today by Treato, the single largest source of online consumer insights on healthcare. According to the American Heart Association, heart disease kills more women than all forms of cancer combined and kills more women than men every year.  An in-depth analysis of more than 600 female-specific online conversations by Treato over the past year revealed that women are most commonly discussing online how their cardiac event was a “wake up call” for them. They are discussing how the signs of their heart attack were not obvious to them and many were completely unaware they were having a heart attack, only to be treated months after their cardiac event.  How women are discussing their heart disease online fell into three major categories: “not knowing the signs”, “how did this happen” and “better late than never to get healthy”.  Surgery was the most discussed heart-related sub-topic making up 33 percent of all online conversations followed by 32 percent about blood pressure.

Women discussed never experiencing chest pain as a symptom and instead thought they were having indigestion or heartburn.   In addition, the majority of women were discussing how they were dismissive of the fact that they could be having a heart attack because they didn’t consider themselves part of an “at-risk” group because either they were “too young”, not overweight, didn’t smoke and had good cholesterol ratio.

In their online discussions women were also frequently trying to identify how their heart attack happened.  When thinking back on their cardiac event, women were citing stress as the most common culprit.  Other common risk factors identified included high blood pressure, unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, genetics, cholesterol and obesity.

These women discussing heart disease online are not spending too much time lamenting the past, but are rather forward-looking in terms of how they will maintain their heart health.  Changing one’s lifestyle is a very dominant theme among these online conversations.  Eating healthy and exercising are the two most common trends among these “getting healthy” discussions. 

“It’s clear that there’s a major education opportunity when it comes to women’s heart health,” says Ido Hadari, CEO of Treato.  “As seen with women’s heart health, social data analytics have the potential to uncover significant population health challenges that need to be address by healthcare professionals.”

Find out more about Treato’s women’s heart disease analysis.

Methodology:

TreatoVoice is a unique data asset that continuously collects and analyzes more than two and a half billion patient and caregiver conversations happening across the Internet in real-time to understand what patients are saying about their experiences with their conditions and treatments. For this analysis Treato analyzed more than 600 female- specific heart health posts from more than 170 websites over the past year.