1. Coronary Heart Disease is the number one cause of death in
American women. The major risk factors are increasing age, male gender,
genetics, smoking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, sedentary
lifestyle, and diabetes. Obviously some of these risk factors cannot be
changed but for those that are modifiable, you should try to change
2. Stroke has all of the same risk factors as heart
disease. However, there are some additional risk factors include prior
history of stroke or TIA, Carotid or other artery disease, atrial
fibrillation (and other heart disease), and sickle cell disease.
High Cholesterol is one of the modifiable risk factors for Heart
disease and Stroke. Changing one’s diet can often be effective in
bringing one’s cholesterol down. You should increase your daily fiber
intake and decrease you fat intake (particularly saturated and Trans
4. Lung Cancer is the number one cause of cancer
related deaths in women. The most important risk factor is smoking. If
you are a smoker, talk to your doctor about strategies for quitting.
This should include a lengthy and detailed conversation about behavioral
modification techniques and possible use of medications or other
5. Breast Cancer is the second
leading cause of cancer deaths in women in the United States. There are
numerous risk factors for breast cancer. Some of these such as genetic
background and menstrual history are not modifiable. However, there
are some risks that you can do something about. These include being
overweight, alcohol use, and certain types of hormone use.
Osteoporosis or thinning of the bones is a significant problem in
women. Its risk factors include increasing age, female gender, family
history, low body weight, race, history of broken bones, menopause, low
hormone levels, diet, inactivity, smoking, and certain medications.
at the diseases and conditions above, it is clear that there are
several lifestyle changes that can lead to healthier lives for women.
These include not smoking, having ideal body weight, appropriate and
balanced diet, limited alcohol intake, physical activity/exercise, and
controlling chronic illnesses such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
at women’s health from a different point of view includes identifying
preventable causes of death. In the year 2000, one third of deaths were
linked to preventable causes. In order, these were smoking, poor
diet/physical inactivity, alcohol, microbial agents, toxic agents, motor
vehicle crashes, incidents involving firearms, sexual behaviors, and
illicit drugs. This doesn’t even count the number of people who didn’t
die but whose quality of life was affected by illnesses linked to these
Of course everyone is different. A
careful discussion with you doctor about your family history and
underlying medical problems as well as habits can clarify which
conditions you should work on specifically to have a longer life and a
better quality of ?