Women's health is a complex and wide-ranging topic, with many conditions that affect women differently than men. From heart disease to depression, women are more likely to suffer from certain health issues than men. In addition, many women's health conditions go undiagnosed and most drug trials don't include women. Generations Family Practice providers in Cary and Raleigh, North Carolina, provide their insights on the major health issues women face. Breast cancer is the most prevalent cancer among women in the United States.
Every year, doctors diagnose more than 287,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer in women. It is also the second leading cause of death among women, only behind lung cancer. Osteoporosis is a disease that weakens bones. It is sometimes referred to as a silent illness, because there are no noticeable symptoms. In fact, many people aren't diagnosed with the condition until after they fracture a bone.
While both men and women can have osteoporosis, it's more common in women than in men. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, only one in four men will fracture a bone in their lifetime due to osteoporosis, while in women it is one in two. Depression and mental health in general are two major health issues that women should consider. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, every year an estimated 12 million women are affected by depression, compared to about six million men. There are more than 80 types of autoimmune diseases, including lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis. And, according to the American Association for Autoimmunity-Related Diseases, a staggering 75% of all autoimmune diseases occur in women.
Combined, these diseases represent the fourth most important cause of disability among American women. Women also suffer from urinary tract conditions more commonly than men. Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are one of the most common bacterial infections among women. In addition, sexually transmitted diseases can cause more harm to women. Heart disease is another major health issue for women. Women suffer a higher number of heart attack deaths compared to men.
Stroke affects 55,000 more women than men each year. Two major factors influencing women's health—namely girls' school enrollment rates and greater political participation by women—have increased in many parts of the world. However, too many women continue to miss the opportunity to educate themselves, support themselves and get the health services they need when they need them. Helping to make women aware of mental health issues and give them the confidence to seek help is vital. If you have a health problem and want treatment or if you are well and want ongoing care to stay as healthy as possible, Generations Family Practice can help. For more information on these common health issues affecting women or to book an appointment with Generations Family Practice today call 919-752-3714 or book an appointment online.