Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for women in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Women are six times more likely to die of a heart attack or stroke than of breast cancer.
Some of those women are getting help from other women through “Gathering of the Heart” and “My Heart in My Hands”. Dr April Manuel, a professor in the School of Nursing at MUN, helped develop the programs.
She says most of the research, about two-thirds, has traditionally not included women. Blood vessels in women are smaller, and symptoms of cardiac arrest are different.
She says a man having a heart attack would have what they call the “Hollywood Syndrome” – clutching at the heart, sweating profusely, etc. whereas women are more subdued and may not have that crushing pain.