A woman’s biology enables her to take an incredible journey through life by virtue of the fact that women are literally built to bring new life into the world. But, the differences between women and men don’t stop there. When it comes to health and wellness, women are more prone to developing certain diseases than men.
In this blog, the providers at Generations Family Practice in Cary and Raleigh, North Carolina, provide their insights into the top health issues that women face.
1. Cardiovascular disease
While more men than women die from heart disease, women are more likely to die at a younger age or become disabled as a result of heart disease. Furthermore, heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the United States.
Part of this discrepancy may be because women don’t always suffer the traditional symptoms, so patients and their doctors may miss the signs. For instance, chest pain is the classic symptom of a heart attack, but for women, the condition may manifest as nausea, back pain, or even jaw pain. This can result in the condition not being diagnosed right away or at all.
2. Breast cancer
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the United States. Each year, doctors diagnose more than 287,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer in women. And, breast cancer is second to lung cancer in how many women’s lives it takes.
Here at Generations Family Practice, we offer well-woman exams and cancer screenings as part of an overall health and wellness strategy.
Osteoporosis is a disease that weakens bones. It’s sometimes called the silent disease, because there are no noticeable symptoms. In fact, many people aren’t diagnosed with the condition until after they break a bone. Although both men and women can get osteoporosis, it’s more common in women than men.
Remarkably, osteoporosis is so common in women that it exceeds the rates of stroke, heart attack, and breast cancer combined. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, only one in four men will break a bone in their lifetime due to osteoporosis, while for women it’s one in two.
4. Depression and mental health
Depression and mental health in general are two more important health issues for women to have on their radar. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, each year an estimated 12 million women are affected by depression in contrast to about six million men.
Although hormonal and chemistry changes that occur throughout a woman’s life can account for some of the cases, cultural stressors and life conditions can also play a part. Sadly, depression rates for women result in a high number of suicide attempts. Specifically, women are almost twice as likely as men to attempt suicide.
5. Autoimmune diseases
The immune system is designed to attack viruses, bacteria, and anything else that tries to harm the body. With an autoimmune disease, however, the immune system goes haywire and attacks healthy tissue.
There are more than 80 kinds of autoimmune diseases, such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis. And, according to the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, an astounding 75% of all autoimmune diseases occur in women. Combined, these diseases represent the fourth-largest cause of disability among American women.
If you have a health issue and want treatment, or if you’re well and want ongoing care to stay as healthy as possible, we can help. To learn more, call 919-752-3714 or book an appointment online with Generations Family Practice today.