Courtney A. Griffin ~ Writer | Designer| Social Media Junkie | Soon to be entrepreneur

The life of a Michigan State University College Girl, turned Chicago Native. Continue the journey with me!

WebMD How to Wreck You Heart, An Analysis

When I need to find health related information, I generally go to WebMD.  This website serves to provide creditable and easy to understand patient-based health information. WebMD serves as a central hub for any medical or health related research you may want to find. The article, (How to Wreck Your Heart: What not to do for your Heart’s Health) was published on January 10th, 2012 by freelance health and science reporter, Shahreen Abedin. This article looks at heart disease in a different light; heart disease is a serious concern of many Americans as many people are dying from it each year. The article’s intent is to tell readers what not to do for your heart’s health; the author does so by telling you how in fact to wreck your heart. She showcases many things I’m sure many Americans do on a regular basis nothing thinking that it affects their overall health specifically their heart.

WebMD has a small Senior Staff and Editorial Team with only 9 individuals and a growing list of freelance colleagues across the country ranging from journalist to actual MD’s. Shahreen Abedin has previous experience on numerous well-known and well trusted sites including Medicine Net, Time magazine and many other health magazines. Before writing freelance for WebMD she was the Senior Medical Director at CNN. Oddly enough, she is also a New York attorney, who is currently not practicing and focusing on spreading healthcare news to the world. Elizabeth Klodas is the editor of the article, she is also not a part of the WebMD Senior Staff or Editorial team but is a Cardiologist and Founder of a Cardiovascular Imaging company, Cardiovascular Imaging Consultants. She has a strong background in heart disease and her main focus is prevention. Although her expertise is the sciences, she is also writer and author of the book, Slay the Giant: The Power of Prevention in Defeating Heart Disease, a guide for understanding and improving overall heart health.

The (How to Wreck Your Heart) article is found within the Heart Disease Health Center Tools and Resources box. There are similar articles within the tools and resources box that pertain to heart disease and ways to maintain good health including Exercising for a Health Heart and 15 Tips to Lower Cholesterol. The page also has multiple places where readers and visitors can sign-up to receive emails and newsletters from WebMD. There are also a couple rotating advertisements including the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and Health Careers at Capella University these are focused toward the general audience of WebMD. Individuals who are interested in health and may be considering health careers and individuals who care about health and may be willing to donate to health cause.

This article is very informal; it is obvious that the intended audience for this article is someone who is or maybe at risk for heart disease. The intended audience may also be someone who knows someone very dear to them who may be suffering from heart disease and wondering what they could do to help. The article gives step by step instructions on what not to do if you’re trying to prevent heart disease. It is clearly very medical based and although it does not include reference to other publications, it does quote numerous individuals, including their health related credentials.  “When you toss the smokes, your heart risk goes down within just a few days of quitting. Within a year, your risk is cut by half. After 10 years of living smoke-free, it’s as if you never smoked at all, says Nieca Goldberg, MD, Cardiologist and Medical Director of the New York University Women’s Heart Program.” Here Dr. Goldberg is telling specific facts and why you should listen to her. Her title as a Medical Director gives her authority and shows her connection to heart disease.

The step-by-step guide is very inviting; the information is presented in a manner that anyone could understand. The guide is also easy to skim for someone who may not have a magnitude of time to read for specifics. In my opinion, the idea of numbering the steps was amazing and very thought out, very rarely are people willing read a long text heavy passage for leisure. The article is written as what to do “if” you want to have heart disease. “7.Forget your growing waistline — just buy some bigger pants.”  The article also highlights keywords that may deserve further clarification. These words are not uncommon words, but are other health conditions that may relate to heart disease.

My favorite part about this article is that it is very patient-based.  As a writer, I am very interested in making information for patients as easy to read as possible. The information given is not intimidated and is simply meant to inform an audience. As a young woman with a heart condition, this article was informative to me. I was diagnosed with a Mild Mitral Valve Prolapse my senior year in high school and ever since have been interested in heart disease. I feel like the writer was speaking directly to me and although a writer must be very careful when writing in second person and speaking directly to the audience, here it is ideal. I felt like I was being directly spoken to by a physician or a friend who cares deeply about me. This approach is generally more widely accepted versus a highly technical article trying to do the same or even worse, use scare tactics. 



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Courtney A.Griffin

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