Heart Health Knowledge Among Americans

cardiac arrest versus heart attack

Fewer than half of Americans knew back or jaw pain and nausea/vomiting can be heart attack indicators. 



Only Half Of Americans Say They Know CPR

The results reveal Americans also confuse heart attack & stroke symptoms 

A online survey conducted conducted by the Cleveland Clinic among a national probability dual-sample consisting of 1,007 adults, 470 men and 537 women 18 years of age and older found the folowing: 
–Slightly more than half of Americans (fifty four percent) say they know how to perform CPR
–Only one in six know that the recommended technique for bystander CPR consists of just chest compressions – and no breaths – on an adult. 
–Thirty six percent knew that they should chew an aspirin right away
–Eleven percent, know the correct pace for performing CPR  compressions (100 to 120 beats per minute).
–Fifty-nine percent falsely identified sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg as a symptom of a heart attack,
–Thirty-nine percent thought slurred speech was a heart attack symptom. 

Cleveland Clinic Newsroom

February 1, 2018

Dr. Parker’s Commentary

This is, of course, not a particularly scientific study.   People responding to an on-line survey are hardly representative of the entire population.

However, the substantial gaps in heart knowledge this survey suggests is disturbing. (0nly) fifty-six percent of people say they know how to perform CPR, and only eleven-percent know the right number of beats per minute?

I would hope the person or people near me are more educated than this…   I would also note that no health provider made an effort to insure my family members were knowledgeable about heart issues…. They should at least give you a handout to distribute when you leave the hospital.


 “The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.” 

Daniel Boorstein 



 Coming Soon


Dr. Parker is a 68 year old heart attack survivor and cardiac psychologist.He is an Honors graduate of Stanford University with forty years of clinical experience. Dr. Parker is available for consultation on heart matters. Contact him at heartcurrents(at)gmail.com.