Top 10 women's health threats

Many of the leading threats to women's health can be prevented if you know what to do...

Content courtesy of Mayo Clinic

December 16, 2009


Many of the leading threats to women's health can be prevented - if you know the facts and measures to take to prevent illnesses.

Take a look at this top 10 list of women's health threats compiled from statistics provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other organizations and the suggestions provided that promote women's health and reduce risks.

Heart Disease
Heart disease isn't just a man's disease. In fact, cardiovascular disease is the greatest health threat to women in the United States.

What you can do to prevent heart disease:

The most common cause of cancer deaths among women is lung cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. Breast cancer and colorectal cancer also pose major women's health threats.
To reduce your risk of cancer:

You can't control some stroke risk factors, such as age, family history, sex or race. But you can take these steps to reduce your risk of stroke:

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a group of chronic lung conditions, including bronchitis and emphysema. To prevent COPD:

Alzheimer's Disease
There's no proven way to prevent Alzheimer's disease, but consider taking these steps:

The leading cause of fatal accidents among women is motor vehicle crashes, according to the CDC. To reduce your risk of a deadly crash:

Falls and poisoning also pose major women's health threats. Take common-sense precautions, such as having your vision checked, using nonslip mats in the tub and placing carbon monoxide detectors near the bedrooms in your home.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes - the most common type of diabetes - affects the way your body uses blood sugar (glucose). Possible complications of type 2 diabetes include heart disease, blindness, nerve damage and kidney damage.
To prevent type 2 diabetes:

Influenza is a common viral infection. While a case of the flu isn't usually serious for otherwise healthy adults, complications of the flu can be deadly - especially for those who have weak immune systems or chronic illnesses. To protect yourself from the flu, get an annual flu vaccine.
Kidney Disease
Kidney failure is often a complication of diabetes or high blood pressure. If you have diabetes or high blood pressure, follow your doctor's treatment suggestions. In addition:

Blood Poisoning ( septicemia or sepsis)
Septicemia is a life-threatening infection marked by the presence of bacteria or their toxins in the blood. Septicemia commonly arises from infections in the lung, urinary tract, abdomen or pelvis. Often, it isn't preventable -- but you can take steps to avoid infections and to protect yourself from illnesses that weaken your immune system:

It's important to understand common women's health risks, but don't feel intimidated. Instead, do whatever you can to lead a healthy lifestyle - including eating healthy foods, staying physically active, getting regular checkups and paying attention to your environment. Preventive measures can go a long way toward reducing your health risks.