Top 10 women's health threats
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:

  • Don't smoke or use other tobacco products. Avoid exposure to secondhand smoke.

  • Eat a healthy diet rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fiber and fish. Cut back on foods high in saturated fat and sodium.

  • If you have high cholesterol or high blood pressure, follow your doctor's treatment recommendations.

  • Include physical activity in your daily routine.

  • Maintain a healthy weight.

  • If you choose to drink alcohol, do so only in moderation. Too much alcohol can raise blood pressure.

  • If you have diabetes, keep your blood sugar under control.

  • Manage stress.

Cancer
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:

  • Don't smoke or use other tobacco products. Avoid exposure to secondhand smoke.

  • Include physical activity in your daily routine.

  • Maintain a healthy weight.

  • Eat a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables, and avoid high-fat foods.

  • Limit your sun exposure. When you're outdoors, use sunscreen.

  • If you choose to drink alcohol, do so only in moderation.

  • Consult your doctor for regular cancer screenings.

  • Reduce exposure to cancer-causing substances (carcinogens), such as radon, asbestos, radiation and air pollution.

  • Breast-feed, if you can.


Stroke
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:

  • Don't smoke.

  • If you have high cholesterol or high blood pressure, follow your doctor's treatment recommendations.

  • Limit the amount of saturated fat and cholesterol in your diet. Try to avoid trans fat entirely.

  • Maintain a healthy weight.

  • Include physical activity in your daily routine.

  • If you have diabetes, keep your blood sugar under control.

  • If you choose to drink alcohol, do so only in moderation.


COPD