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Drumming circles play unique role in Indigenous women's heart health
Drs. Annalijn Conklin (R) and Karin Humphries (L) are scientists at CHEOS. They recently partnered with local urban Elders to listen to their experiences and discuss novel arts-based approaches to promote heart health among Indigenous women. Here is what they found.
For years, women have been excluded from research into heart health, leading to gaps in diagnoses, treatment, and support for women with cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Compared to men, women have a higher risk of dying after a heart attack and fewer women are diagnosed with CVD.
In CVD research, Indigenous women are even more understudied; as one of Canada’s most vulnerable groups, they are 76% more likely to die of CVD than non-Indigenous Canadian women.
Their increased risk stems from a unique set of factors resulting from social and institutional discrimination based on both gender and Indigenous ethnicity as well as physiological characteristics and other known risk factors.
As a first step in addressing this unmet health promotion need, we partnered with local urban Elders to lay the foundation for future co-development of novel, arts-based prevention approaches for heart health among Indigenous women.