Top Health Concerns in Women
The best way of ensuring optimum health in women is by being aware of the current and most prevalent health issues so these can be treated and prevented. This article summarizes and ranks the most important health risks to consider based on female fatality rates in the United States.
During the early 1900s, women had a very low life expectancy with many dying from disease in their 50s, which only proved that not that much attention was really given to women’s health in the past. But today, not only are women living longer (the average age at the time of death is 82 for American women), they are also enjoying better quality of lives. This can be attributed to the greater and more focused efforts on educating the public about vital women’s health issues.
Here are some of the common health problems for women based on the latest reports:
Heart disease accounts for twenty-seven percent of female deaths in the US, claiming 500,000 lives yearly. This figure is larger than all of the female cancer related deaths combined. Some of the common signs and symptoms that are attributed to heart problems include angina (sharp chest pain or discomfort), pain in the jaw, throat, neck, back or upper abdomen, extreme fatigue for no apparent reason, shortness of breath, swelling of ankles, legs and feet, arrhythmia, and upper body discomfort.
The good news is, heart disease is for the most part, preventable. Maintaining a low fat diet and exercising regularly can lower your risk significantly.
Twenty-two percent of the women fatality rate in the US is caused by cancer, with an average of 270,000 deaths annually. It may be surprising to know that breast cancer only falls second to lung cancer as the major killer with 70,000 cancer-related deaths falling into this category. While it is still advisable to encourage women to go for their yearly mammography examinations, it is equally important to emphasize the anti-smoking campaign as well.
Eight percent of female deaths are caused by stroke. Though this medical ailment only accounts for less than a tenth of female deaths, it is important to take note that hypertension is the leading long-term disability cause in women in the country. Around 55,000 women suffer from strokes every year, of which sixty percent are fatal.
Regular check-up and the religious intake of prescribed maintenance medications are important to manage hypertension as well as the adherence to doctor-approved diets and exercise programs. In case you experience the sudden numbing or weakening in your face, arm or leg, trouble with speech, understanding, or sight, or loss of balance and a sudden headache, call 911 right away. You could be having a stroke.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
COPD accounts for five percent of women’s death in the US. If lung cancer or other serious medical diseases do not get smokers, long-term cigarette smoking will eventually lead to death from bronchitis or emphysema. Around 64,000 women die of COPD every year and for the first time in medical history, more women died of COPD than men in the year 2000.
More than half of the 4.5 million Americans suffering from Alzheimer’s disease are women and this disease accounts for four percent of women’s deaths. Unfortunately, the disease can easily be confused with brain fog so if you or anyone you know is frequently forgetful and confused, they should get themselves examined so that the doctor can make the right diagnosis and prescribe the proper treatment.
Diabetes is another female killer accounting for three percent of female deaths. As a long term health disability, diabetes comes at a close second to hypertension. 12.6 million female Americans are suffering from the condition with only a fourth of them having been diagnosed and are receiving treatment. Have your fasting blood sugar levels checked regularly and follow a low-glycemic diet. Do some aerobic exercises regularly too as these things can easily prevent the occurrence of Type-2 diabetes which is more prevalent than Type-1 and Gestational Diabetes.
Influenza leading to pneumonia comes next to diabetes and accounts for 3% of women’s death. As this deadly combination is most prevalent in women over the age of 65, it is advisable to have a yearly flu vaccination especially during the flu season to prevent getting this illness.
Keeping women healthy is not really complicated. It all starts with being aware of the various medical conditions that plague the female population. Once you know what these conditions are, you can be more vigilant of their signs and symptoms. Aside from gaining knowledge of women’s health problems, maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle is also very important. Manage your stress levels and take time to relax and unwind. By doing all these things, you have every chance of living a long and healthy life.