People With Heart Disease Want Lifestyle Tips and Empathy From Their Doctors 550% More Than They Want New Medications

New consumer research from MyHealthTeams reveals patient priorities

SAN FRANCISCO — OCTOBER 30, 2019 — MyHealthTeams, creator of the largest and fastest-growing social networks for people facing chronic health conditions, today unveiled new research conducted among the more than 21,000 registered members of MyHeartDiseaseTeam, the social network for patients with heart disease. A majority (56%) of those surveyed report they are either not satisfied or only somewhat satisfied with their current treatment. Yet when asked what they most want from their doctor, only 8% said “new treatments.” More than five times as many respondents prioritized wanting their cardiologist to provide  “more information” on recommended lifestyle changes (22%) and “listening and understanding” about the challenges of managing their heart disease (22%).

Contrary to popular belief, the vast majority of people with Heart Disease know the importance of making lifestyle changes to improve their condition around diet and exercise, and they want to make those changes. The problem is that they do not always know how to safely make those changes. MyHealthTeams identified two key areas in which people living with heart disease know they want to improve – but aren’t sure what to do or how to start:

  • Exercise: 75% understand the importance of exercise, but 70% report their condition makes it hard to exercise and they’re not sure how to start or how to safely exercise. Nearly half of the respondents have had a heart attack in the past and live in constant fear of another heart attack. Exertion and exercise often trigger symptoms of chest pain from angina that leaves patients wondering, “Is this a heart attack? Should I be going to the ER?”  They want specific tips from their doctors on safe ways to start exercising.
  • Diet: 85% of those surveyed report they understand the importance of a healthy diet, but most do not know how to effectively change their eating habits. They want practical tips on foods to eat, recipes to try and grocery lists to follow.  This is rarely offered in the doctor’s office.

Quality of Life

The impact of heart disease on daily life is wide-ranging, with survey respondents reporting challenges including:

    • Hard to do everyday chores (65%)
    • Interferes with social life (58%)
    • Hard to sleep at night (57%)
    • Makes me feel isolated / alone (50%)
    • Disrupts work / education (45%)
    • Hard to be sexually active (43%)
    • Negatively impacts family (41%)

“People living with heart disease are grasping for practical advice about how to eat and exercise to better manage their condition, and they’re seeking emotional support and lifehacks to help them deal with the personal and social impacts of the disease,” said Eric Peacock, co-founder and CEO of MyHealthTeams. “This requires thinking beyond the pill and creates opportunities to engage patients beyond the doctor’s office. Today’s consumers play an active role in improving their health, and many of us across the healthcare ecosystem can further empower them — starting by listening to and addressing their priorities.”

This research was conducted among the more than 21,000 registered members of MyHeartDiseaseTeam. 233 individuals responded to the online survey. Full survey findings are available: Additional graphics are available upon request.

About MyHealthTeams

MyHealthTeams believes that if you are diagnosed with a chronic condition, it should be easy to find and connect with others like you. MyHealthTeams creates social networks for people living with a chronic health condition. Millions of people have joined one of the company’s 33 highly engaged communities focusing on the following conditions: Crohn’s and colitis, multiple sclerosis, lupus, fibromyalgia, pulmonary hypertension, spondylitis, eczema, myeloma, hyperhidrosis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, leukemia, lymphoma, irritable bowel syndrome, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, hemophilia, hidradenitis suppurative, depression, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, COPD, chronic pain, migraines, food allergies, obesity, HIV, PCOS, endometriosis, breast cancer and autism.  MyHealthTeams’ social networks are available in 13 countries.

Media Contact

Michelle Cox