Women's Health

Women have many unique health concerns — menstrual cycles, pregnancy, birth control, menopause — and that's just the beginning. A number of health issues affect only women and others are more common in women. What's more, men and women may have the same condition, but different symptoms. Many diseases affect women differently and may even require distinct treatment.

We tend to think of breast cancer and osteoporosis as women's health diseases, but they also occur in men. Heart disease in a serious concern to both men and women, but risk factors and approaches to prevention are different. Women may also have specific concerns about aging, caregiving, emotional health issues, and skin care.

Women's Health Articles

Depression and cardiovascular risk in women

Smoking, poor diet, physical inactivity, high cholesterol, obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD). There's mounting evidence that depression should be added to this list. Research suggests that it increases the chances of developing heart disease and stroke, even after factors such as smoking are taken into account. Two investigations highlight the relationship between depression and CVD in postmenopausal women. (Locked) More »

Staying active despite osteoporosis

Whether it comes after a broken bone or a low bone density reading, a diagnosis of osteoporosis spurs you to rethink your relationship with exercise. An exercise program will not only make your bones more resilient, but also help you avoid falls and fractures and lower your risk for chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes — all of which are important in preserving your mobility and independence.  (Locked) More »

Study elucidates health risks for DES daughters

The synthetic estrogen diethylstilbestrol (DES) was widely prescribed in the 1940s, '50s, and '60s to prevent miscarriage and premature delivery. Its dangers were first revealed in the early 1970s, when Harvard-affiliated researchers linked the drug to a rare cancer of the vagina and cervix in the daughters of women who took DES while pregnant. In 1971, the FDA issued a warning against its use by pregnant women, but five to 10 million pregnant women and their babies had already been exposed. In the following decades, many other health problems were discovered among DES daughters and have been documented in a follow-up study. (Locked) More »

Follow-up

Further information about a breast cancer drug that may weaken the left ventricle. (Locked) More »

Screening after age 75

If you're close to age 75, you may have followed the same schedule for mammograms, Pap smears, and other screening tests for decades. And if you're like many women, you may be surprised that your physician is suggesting fewer tests or longer intervals between them. The practice seems to fly in the face of conventional wisdom. After all, the risk for many degenerative diseases increases with age, so shouldn't older women be monitored even more closely? The answer is, "It depends on the woman." More »

Sleep apnea increases dementia risk in older women

More than half of adults ages 65 and over have sleep apnea, a disorder characterized by abnormal pauses in breathing during sleep. Chronic sleep apnea is associated with many health risks, including high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. Older women with sleep apnea may be at higher risk of developing cognitive problems and dementia. (Locked) More »