More than 240 women in Falkirk die of heart disease each year – and a charity wants more done to highlight the issue of female coronary problems.
In Forth Valley last year, 64 per cent of those seen by the NHS’ cardiac rehabilitation team were female.
The British Heart Foundation (BHF) has launched a new ‘women’s room’ on its website to provide help and support to those diagnosed with the disease - which kills more women than breast cancer every year.
A spokesperson for NHS Forth Valley said that while there are no specific initiatives for women, there is an awareness that increasing numbers of women are being assessed for heart conditions.
She added: “While we don’t have separate male and female services, we are able offer choice and options for patients, including in terms of cardiology rehabilitation services. We are able to offer classes at different times and venues so there is a good variety for people.
“Aa lot of women are diagnosed later in life so we also offer low impact classes for them and for people who have other conditions too.
“Perhaps in the past it was seen more traditionally as a male problem rather than a female one, but GPs and other health professionals are well aware of it.”
The BHF’s ‘women’s room’ features stories of real women living with the disease, as well as offering practical support on how to cope – especially in terms of work and finances but also in how to tell family and colleagues that you have a heart condition.
Mareen Talbot, senior cardiac nurse at the BHF, said: “As a society we continue to prop up the myth that heart problems are just for men. Everything from TV adverts to soap plotlines show men with heart conditions – but it’s incredibly rare to hear about a woman with heart disease.
“As a result women feel very isolated. We want to shout from the rooftops that if you’re a woman living with heart disease you are not alone.
“Our women’s room can give you the ‘informational hug’ you need, and introduce you to other women, just like you.”
For more information, whether you’ve been diagnosed or are worried about your heart, go to www.bhf.org.uk/women