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Midlife health

Discover which diseases and conditions pose the greatest health risks to women. Find out how to minimize your risk.
Do you worry excessively about developing breast or ovarian cancer? Your anxiety may be misplaced. Although these cancers can cut your life short, your risk of having either one is far lower than is your risk of having ¡X and dying of ¡X cardiovascular disease.
That's not to say you should forgo regular mammograms or ignore symptoms that may suggest ovarian cancer, particularly if you have a high-risk family history. But it does mean you might benefit from a realistic appraisal of your true health risks ¡X if only to put your mind at ease. Better still, understanding your top health risks is the first step toward reducing them.
To that end, the leading causes of death for women in the United States are listed below, in order of prevalence. Of course, every woman is unique, so you should always discuss your personal risk profile and preventive plan with your own doctor. These figures serve as a frame of reference for that discussion.
No. 1 ¡X Heart disease
Heart disease is responsible for more deaths in women than all forms of cancer combined. Heart disease is the most significant health concern for women in the United States today, causing nearly 350,000 deaths each year.
The good news is that heart disease is one of the most preventable health conditions. You have the power to reduce some of your risks:
„X Avoid smoking and secondhand smoke and limit the amount of alcohol you drink.
„X Eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole-grain products.
„X Exercise regularly.
„X Control other health conditions that increase your risk of heart disease, such as high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol.
No. 2 ¡V Cancer
No. 3 ¡V Stroke
No. 4 ¡V Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary disease
No. 5 ¡V Alzheimer¡¦s disease
Excerpted from MayoClinic.com. For complete article, click on: www.mayoclinic.com/health/womens-health/WO00014

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