This is a question that a male friend asked me recently. It is a very good, simple, straight forward one addressed to someone who has been working in the area of heart disease prevention for the past sixteen years. For those of you who have not had a great deal of experience with heart disease, a Coronary Stent is a tiny wire mesh tube used to prop open an artery during angioplasty, to open a collapsed, narrow or weak artery, allowing blood to flow freely again. The stent stays in the artery permanently.
Still, it shocked me because I had never heard that question asked before. Yes, of course, I knew that women have stents but why didn’t I hear more about them myself? Actually, I didn’t know the answer.
This is a question I have been dealing with so long: why didn’t women talk about their experiences with heart disease? Even though there have been numerous awareness campaigns, the average person still wasn’t aware. Women don’t discuss/talk about their bouts with heart disease. Interestingly, they discuss breast cancer, but they don’t discuss heart disease.
Actually, after all of my years working with heart disease, I have a few answers but I would like to hear from some of you. What is it about a diagnosis of heart disease that does not prompt women to discuss it?