Along with several comforts, modern lifestyles have brought diseases.
Women are more prone to certain health ailments compared to men. Here are the top five illnesses that a majority of women suffer from.
1. Heart diseases
Although more men have died of heart diseases, more number of women have complained of heart problems.
“The symptoms for women are typical for women, and they are often missed by doctors and the patient themselves,” said Mark, senior medical adviser for the Office on Women’s Health at the US Department of Health and Human Services.
According to reports, 29% of deaths in women are because of a heart disease. Women who have not even crossed 60 are losing their life to heart diseases, which is quite alarming.
Risk factors for heart disease.
Obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, stress, inactivity, and high cholesterol are main causes of heart problems in women.
2. Breast cancer
The two most common types of cancers affecting women are breast and cervical cancer. As per WHO figures, half a million succumb to cervical cancer and half a million die of breast cancer every year.
“Treatments are available for breast cancer. It’s not a death sentence,” says Dr Diane Helentjaris, past president of the American Medical Women’s Association.
Risk factors for breast cancer
Family history or personal history, genes, increasing age, earlier chest radiation, earlier abnormal breast biopsy, early onset of menstruation (before the age of 12) or menopause (after the age of 55), too much alcohol consumption, obesity, not having children or having them late, and certain medication like diethylstilbestrol (DES) can put a woman at a higher risk of breast cancer.
3. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
Around 10% of women of reproductive age are affected by PCOS. In this condition, small cysts form on the ovaries during ovulation, which may cause occasional pain or eventually get infected or ruptured, thereby damaging the uterus. Besides posing to be a problem in the fertility, it leads to weight gain, acne, abnormal periods, and excess hair growth in unwanted places.
Risk factors for PCOS
Women who have a family history of PCOS, irregular periods, or diabetes are more prone to PCOS.
The National Osteoporosis Foundation reports that 44 million Americans fall prey to osteoporosis out of which 68% are women. Preventable to a huge extent, this diseases affects the resilience and strength of bones, making people prone to fractures and bone breaks later in their life.
Risk factors for osteoporosis
Eating a diet low in calcium and vitamin D, excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, increasing age, thin-boned and small frame, family history, ethnicity (Asian and white women are at a greater risk), anorexia, sedentary lifestyle, irregular menstrual cycles and estrogen loss due to menopause are some of the factors that can cause osteoporosis in women.
As per a report of The National Institute of Mental Health, about 12 million women are affected by depression and such disorders every year. In comparison, only six million men are affected by these diseases. Hormonal changes, especially post pregnancy or around menopause can trigger depression and make women feel disconnected.
Psychologist Dorree Lynn says, “They need that sustenance. If they don’t have it, they tend to get depressed.”
Risk factors for depression
Family history, marital problems, serious chronic illness, history of heart problems, a previous depressive disorder, stress and stressful live events like job loss, divorce, death of loved ones can cause depression.