The top killer for women is heart disease, which claims nearly 489,000 deaths each year. Heart disease kills more women every year than all types of cancers combined. Because of the common misconception that heart disease primarily affects only men, only 13% of women are aware that this disease is a major threat to their lives. However, heart disease is still a preventable disease. Women can reduce your risk of getting a heart attack by making the following lifestyle changes:
First, quit or avoid smoking and secondhand smoke. Limit or eliminate alcohol intake. Perform regular cardiovascular exercise to stimulate blood circulation and in maintain a healthy body weight. These steps significantly reduce the stress on your arteries and heart. If you have high blood pressure, diabetes, and/or high cholesterol, you must consult with your doctor as to the best ways to bring these other risk factors under control.
Cancers, especially breast and lung cancer kills 73,000 women each year. 90% of them who developed lung cancer have been cigarette smokers. According to American Cancer Association, breast cancer is a leading cause of death in women. Breast tumors are diagnosed in almost 211,000 women every year with almost 20% morality rate. To reduce your risk of developing cancer, lead a healthy lifestyle and meet with your doctor regularly to take preventive screenings. Cancer, if detected in its early stages, can save lives.
The third cause of women’s deaths is stroke. Every year in United States, almost 164,000 people die because of a stroke, and 100,000 of these deaths are female. The factors that increase the chances of having strokes are uncontrolled blood pressure and smoking. Strokes do not only cause deaths but also often leave the person permanently disabled. Even though your risk of stroke depends heavily on your family medical history and genetics, stroke is as preventable as heart disease.
The fourth killer are chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD), including emphysema, asthma and lung cancer. These diseases are responsible for almost 65,000 deaths in women each year. Smoking is the leading cause of these pulmonary diseases. COPD are highly preventable. To reduce you risk for developing this disease, quit smoking and avoid secondhand smoke.
Fifth is Alzheimer’s disease, which is affects the brain and starts with simple forgetfulness. As it progresses further, it totally wipes out memories of the sufferer. This disease kills nearly 42,000 women every year. Get regular screenings for this from your doctor.
The next disease that threatens many men and women alike is diabetes. About 18 million people were diagnosed with diabetes last year, and almost 37,000 women died from the complications of this disease. Still, so many people do not know that they have diabetes until it becomes very severe. This late stage is characterized by blindness, kidney failure, and nerve damage, as well as an increased risk of having heart attack or stroke. Diabetes, however, is still highly preventable by following a controlled diet, regular exercise, and conducting regular blood sugar tests.
The seventh leading cause of death in women in America is accidents, claiming more lives each year. While this is not a disease to be cured, it is still a preventable cause of death. Women can keep themselves safe by paying more attention when performing dangerous tasks and driving carefully on the road.
Influenza and pneumonia combined are the eighth cause of women’s deaths each year. The risk of contracting these diseases can be limited by maintaining good hygiene and taking flu shots every year.