The good news? The leading threats to women’s health, at least the majority of them, can be prevented. The not-so-great part? Many people don’t know how.
So, first step: read the below list of the top conditions and diseases that threaten women’s lives the most. Second step: get serious about reducing your risks.
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1. Heart disease
Heart disease isn’t just a man’s disease — it’s also a major women’s health threat. Take charge of heart health by making healthier lifestyle choices. For example:
How to save your heart…
• Don’t smoke. If you smoke or use other tobacco products, ask your doctor to help you quit. It’s also important to avoid exposure to secondhand smoke.
• Eat a healthy diet. Choose vegetables, fruits, whole grains, high-fiber foods and lean sources of protein, such as fish. Limit foods high in saturated fat and sodium.
• Manage chronic conditions. If you have high cholesterol or high blood pressure, follow your doctor’s treatment recommendations. If you have diabetes, keep your blood sugar under control.
• Include physical activity in your daily routine. Choose sports or other activities you enjoy, from brisk walking to a cardio kickboxing class.
• Maintain a healthy weight. Extra pounds increase the risk of heart disease.
• Limit alcohol. If you choose to drink alcohol, do so only in moderation. Too much alcohol can raise your blood pressure.
• Manage stress. If you feel constantly on edge or under assault, your lifestyle habits may suffer. Take steps to reduce stress — or learn to deal with stress in healthy ways.
Various types of cancer are of particular concern to women, including breast cancer, lung cancer, skin cancer and colorectal cancer. To reduce the risk of cancer, consider these general tips:
How to reduce your cancer risks…
• Don’t smoke. Using any type of tobacco puts you on a collision course with cancer. Avoiding exposure to secondhand smoke counts, too.