Women, as they vie to complete their daily tasks, often ignore their health. Most women don’t realise that they are at risk of an illness and even death from various diseases that catch them unawares while caring for their loved ones.
Below are top five health problems that are taking a toll on women:
Heart disease: When we talk of heart disease, people generally think of it as a ‘male problem. In fact cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of women in the world. Symptoms such as shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort, pain in one or both the arms, neck, jaw or stomach should be consulted with doctors immediately.
Breast cancer: It is the leading cancer killer among women aged 20–59 years worldwide. Considered to affect women over 40 before, breast cancer now affects younger women as well. Risk factors include a family history, BRCA gene mutations, radiation therapy to the chest, high intake of alcohol, red meat. Also, factors such as ageing or lifestyle can increase your risk.
Cervical cancer: It is the fourth most common cause of cancer deaths in women worldwide. In India, it is the leading cause of cancer deaths in women, killing around 33,000 women every year in the country.
Cervical cancer is caused by a virus called the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) transmitted through sexual contact.
Risk factors include- poor hygiene, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), having multiple sex partners and not using contraceptives.
Urinary Tract Infection: It is an infection involving the kidneys, ureters, bladder, or urethra. Urinary tract infections (UTI) are more commonly seen in women than men, with half of women having at least one infection at some point in their lives. Recurrences are common.
Risk factors include female anatomy, sexual intercourse and family history.
Depression: Women are more susceptible to depression than men. According to WHO, it is the leading cause of disease burden for women in both high-income and low- and middle-income countries.
Risk factors include- grief, trauma, genetic, troubles in relationships, etc. However, women have an increased risk factor due to hormonal changes such as after pregnancy (postpartum) or during menopause.