Advances in women’s health have been occurring more rapidly than ever, but so many women still suffer from specific medical conditions, like breast cancer, osteoporosis, and infertility. As these conditions may weigh heavily on your mind, you may wonder what the actual statistics behind these issues are?
One of the biggest concerns is not a specific condition, as you may have thought, but is women’s overall health. According to a survey conducted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, over one-third of women in the U.S. over the age of twenty are obese. Obesity puts excess strain on your body and leads to a myriad of health complications like heart disease and diabetes. In fact, one-third of women die from heart disease and over 30% of women have hypertension. You may think you are living a healthy lifestyle and are immune to these conditions. However, a survey conducted in 2008 shows that over 50% of women do not get adequate aerobic activity, and a survey from 2016 shows that over 13% of women are in poor health.
While overall health is extremely important, women do need to be wary of specific conditions too, because women are more susceptible to certain conditions than men. Nearly 68% of people with osteoporosis, a condition that weakens bone structure, and nearly 75% of people with auto-immune diseases are women. Furthermore, women are twice as likely to suffer from depression and other mental health issues than men, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.
Of course, there are a number of conditions that only affect women that you may be worried about as well. Conditions like endometriosis and PCOS can seem very frightening to many women. However, the odds of having many of these conditions are low, according to a survey collected by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Endometriosis only affects between 7-10% of the general population, and PCOS affects anywhere from 4-6% of women. Of course, many women worry about infertility as well, even though it only affects approximately 10% of women of child-bearing age.
Breast cancer may certainly weigh on your mind, but medical advances are improving the statistics every day. Currently, a little more than 12% of women will develop invasive breast cancer at some point in their lifetime, but that number has dropped over 7% over the last two decades. Women often turn to their family history in order to determine if they are at risk for breast cancer, but in reality, 85% of breast cancer cases occur in women with no family history at all. Remember to check your breasts regularly for lumps or abnormalities, and be sure to schedule a mammogram by the time you are 40 (or earlier if you have a family history of breast cancer). According to a 2016 survey, nearly 35% of women do not get a mammogram after the age of 40, putting them at higher risk of missing treatment.
Learning the stats is key to understanding your own risks. If you have any concerns about your overall health or about a specific condition, be sure to discuss them with your doctor.