Many factors play into women's health. Here are some key statistics and actions worth considering:
1. Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women. It claims more lives each year than all forms of cancer combined—1 out of every 3 women dies of heart disease each year. An estimated 43 million women in the U.S. are affected by heart disease according to the Heart Foundation.
2. Vitamins B1, B2, B6, K1, and Niacin, as well as CoQ10 and magnesium, all play a key role in maintaining cardiovascular health, which is why it can be useful to take a multivitamin, which contains all of these vitamins and minerals. It’s like a little extra insurance for women's health, to make sure all nutrient bases are covered.
3. Cancer is the second leading cause of death in women, with breast and cervical cancer being two of the most common cancers affecting women. 1 in 31 American women die from breast cancer each year.
4. Women should begin to screen for cervical cancer as early as age 21 by having a Pap test and repeating it every three years. Consult a doctor about when you should start receiving a mammogram to screen for breast cancer. At age 50 women should consider having a colonoscopy to screen for colon cancer, one of the slowest growing cancers, which is treatable if caught early.
5. Chronic respiratory diseases rank as the third leading cause of death in women, followed by stroke, and Alzheimer’s disease according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
6. Although diabetes ranks 7th as a risk to women's health, more than 13 million women suffer from the disease, which can serve as a precursor to heart attack, stroke, or kidney failure.
7. Maintaining a healthy weight and body mass (calculate your body mass index or BMI here), eating healthy as well as being active for 30 minutes most days of the week can not only reduce your risk of diabetes, it can also help to reduce your risk of heart disease.
8. It’s important for women to have blood pressure checked at least every two years. High blood pressure can lead to stroke, heart attack, kidney and eye problems. Beginning at age 65 or after the onset of menopause, high blood pressure is much more common in women than men according to the American Heart Association.
9. At age 65, women should begin to test bone density to check for the onset of osteoporosis. Although there is much talk about taking calcium to maintain bone health, it is equally important to maintain your Vitamin D and Vitamin K intake, which help your body to properly absorb calcium.
10. Vitamin D is important for women to take at every age.