Women's health: Prevent top threats

POSTED: 12:27 PM MDT Sep 10, 2013    UPDATED: 01:19 PM MDT Sep 24, 2013 
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By Mayo Clinic News Network

Many of the leading threats to women's health can be prevented -- if you know how. The top causes of death among adult women in the U.S. include heart disease, stroke, cancer and chronic lower respiratory disease, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Take the first step to protect yourself by talking with your doctor about your risk factors for these conditions. Then get serious about reducing your risk.

Manage chronic conditions and get recommended screenings

If you have health problems, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure or diabetes, that increase your risk of heart disease and stroke, follow your doctor's treatment recommendations. Also be sure to consult your doctor about when you should have mammograms and other cancer screenings.

Adopt a healthier lifestyle

While you can't eliminate risk factors such as family history, you can control many other risk factors for heart disease, stroke and cancer. For example:

Prevent chronic lower respiratory diseases

Many women don't realize that they're at risk of illness and even death from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease — which includes bronchitis and emphysema. Don't be caught off guard. To protect your respiratory health:

The bottom line

It's important to understand the common health risks that women face, but don't feel intimidated. Instead, do whatever you can to lead a healthy lifestyle — including eating a healthy diet, staying physically active, quitting smoking and getting regular checkups. Simple preventive measures can go a long way toward reducing your health risks.

Source: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/womens-health/WO00014/NSECTIONGROUP=2