Coming in the midst of American Heart Month, a new survey found that approximately 62 percent of Americans received a failing grade on a quiz that tests heart attack and heart disease knowledge.

Quiz shines a light on the lack of knowledge surrounding heart disease

The Heart Attack IQ Quiz created by MDVIP spans a range of topics that include the underlying causes of heart attacks, the symptoms involved, demographic connections, and associations with certain lifestyle choices such as diet and exercise. The purpose of the quiz is to prompt Americans to learn more about heart disease, which is the leading cause of death in the U.S. for both men and women.

Ultimately, the most concerning takeaway from the results of this quiz is that, despite a massive push in heart health awareness, there is much more that needs to be done in order to educate the public about the dangers of heart disease. Doctors, public health organizations, and other nonprofit groups have been promoting heart disease awareness efforts for decades, but many people are still misinformed about the basic realities of the disease.

Links between heart disease and diet

The quiz features several questions related to the link between diet and heart disease, and some of these proved to be the trickiest questions for responders. For instance, one question asks:

Which of the following foods is the worst for your cholesterol?

A. A medium fries

B. Oz. filet mignon

C. Cup of ice cream

D. Scrambled egg

While choice “C” may seem like the logical choice to eliminate because of the association between red meat and fried foods and heart disease, “C” is the correct answer, and it reveals that the public at large still has a hard time differentiating between healthier monounsaturated fats found in oily fish and nuts, and LDL cholesterol-raising saturated fats found in abundance in ice cream.

The connection between heart disease and other lifestyle choices

Other questions in the quiz focus on additional lifestyle choices that significantly impact heart health, such as smoking and level of exercise. One true/false statement reads, “Heart disease is preventable 80 percent of the time through lifestyle changes,” with the correct answer being “true.” This is presumably designed to encourage high-risk people to start making changes now that can prevent heart disease in the future.

How you can use this quiz to be proactive about your heart health

Take the quiz yourself, and see how your knowledge matches up with the general populace. Then, you can discuss your quiz results with your primary care physician or your heart specialist, and make a plan together that will help you improve your heart health.

If you’re ready to take control of your heart health, schedule a consultation with Heart Rhythm Consultants, P.A. Our team of EP doctors has been helping patients across the Tampa area manage heart rhythm disorders for years, and they are ready to help you discover what is possible.