According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 13 percent of women at least 18 years old are in fair or poor health. More than one out of every three women is obese, and the same rate of women have hypertension. Poor daily health can lead to a greater risk for chronic illness. In order to assess today’s health risks, here is a guide to the top 10 leading causes of death among women, as reported by the CDC.
Accounting for more than 25 percent of female deaths, heart disease is by far the leading health concern for women in America. The most common form of heart disease is a condition called coronary artery disease (CAD), in which plaque build-up damages the artery walls and limits the heart’s access to blood. A combination of healthy nutrition and regular exercise can help prevent heart disease.
Skin and breast cancer are the two most common types of cancer among women. The risk for developing these illnesses usually increase with age. While both forms of cancer are treatable, early intervention is vital to survival. In addition to regular check-ups, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recommends receiving a mammogram at least every two years.
For women in the United States, stroke is a leading cause of both death and disability. Strokes are caused by a blood clot that completely blocks blood flow to the brain. Some lifestyle measures can prevent a stroke from happening, including not smoking and maintaining a low blood pressure.
Chronic lower respiratory diseases
Chronic lung diseases are lifelong conditions including emphysema and chronic bronchitis, which greatly affect a woman’s quality of life. Most of these diseases are caused by smoking, which is the leading cause of preventable illness and death in America, according to the HHS Office on Women’s Health.
Women make up approximately two-thirds of people with Alzheimer’s disease, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. Alzheimer’s is a progressive illness marked by an impaired memory. While much remains to be learned about Alzheimer’s, ongoing research efforts aim to discover more about the nature and treatment of the disease.
Motor vehicle accidents account for most female deaths due to unintentional injuries. Follow every day safety precautions including using your seat belt and avoiding the wheel in poor weather conditions.
Controlling your blood sugar prevents helps prevent diabetes and lowers your risk for heart disease, stroke and kidney disease. Diabetes may be prevented with regular aerobic exercise and a nutritious diet.
Influenza and pneumonia
Pregnant women are at a particularly high risk for severe flu complications. A timely vaccine may help prevent a flu infection and pneumonia, which commonly develops from the flu.
Women are at greater risk for kidney disease if they have diabetes, high blood pressure or a family member with the disease. Kidney damage usually occurs over a long period of time, and a yearly urine test can help doctors detect kidney disease early.
Septicemia is essentially blood poisoning caused by bacteria in the blood–a condition known as bacteremia. This infection usually develops due to another infection in the body. Septicemia requires emergency medical attention.