When it comes to health risks, women and men aren't the same. In fact, you may be surprised to learn which conditions pose the highest health risks to women. Our specialists at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center have put together a list of things you can do to help prevent these top threats to women's health.

  1. Heart Disease: Despite the common misconception that heart disease is primarily a man's disease, it's also the number one cause of death in women. While there are many risk factors involved, our experts have outlined steps you can take today for prevention. Take our personalized assessment to learn more about your risk for heart disease.
    • Avoid smoking
    • Manage your blood sugar
    • Keep your blood pressure under control
    • Lower your cholesterol
    • Manage your weight by staying active and eating healthy
  2. Breast Cancer: After skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in women in the United States, and the second highest cause of female cancer death in Idaho. Although early detection through mammography and self-exam has increased the survival rate for women, doctors aren't certain about specific prevention tactics. Still, there are things you can do to maintain your overall health and possibly help reduce your risk.
    • Exercise regularly
    • Manage your diet by decreasing fats and increasing fruits, vegetables and grains
    • Limit alcohol consumption
    • Have regular, thorough checkups
  3. Stroke: Strokes are responsible for almost 8% of all female deaths and are the leading cause of long-term disability in the United States. Some stroke risk factors such as family history, age and race are out of your control, but you can take steps to control other contributing factors.  If you or a loved one shows signs of stroke, call 9-1-1 immediately and be transported to EIRMC, the region's only Certified Primary Stroke Center.
    • Manage chronic conditions, such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure
    • Avoid smoking
    • Maintain a healthy diet, limiting foods high in saturated fat and cholesterol
    • Limit alcohol consumption
  4. Chronic Lower Respiratory Diseases (COPD): A group of diseases affecting the airways and lungs, COPD is responsible for an estimated 64,000 women dying each year. Fortunately, COPD has a clear cause and a clear path of prevention.
    • Don't smoke
    • Avoid or protect yourself from occupational exposure to chemical fumes and dust
  5. Alzheimer's Disease: More than half of the 4.5 million Americans living with Alzheimer's are women and diagnoses rates are steadily climbing in Idaho. Although there is no known way to prevent Alzheimer's, studies show that there may be steps you can take to lower your risk.=
    • Exercise regularly
    • Stay mentally active by reading, doing crossword puzzles or listening to the radio
    • Maintain a healthy diet with omega-3 rich oils, high-fiber foods, fruits and vegetables

For more specific information on how you can prevent these health conditions or advice on other ways you can stay healthy, make an appointment with a physician at 227-2777.

October 28, 2017
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