WOMEN HEALTH



Many diseasesaffect both women and men alike but some diseases occur in women at a higherfrequency. For example, gallstones are three to four times more common in womenthan in men. About 18% of women compared to 6% of men in the U.S. suffermigraine headaches, a ratio of three females to one male. Other conditionswhich plague women more often than men include irritable bowel syndrome andurinary tract infections.

Urinary tractinfections, including cystitis (bladder infection) and kidney infection (pyelonephritis)are significant health problems that especially affect women. Kidney disease isa leading cause of high blood pressure (hypertension). And, after age 50,hypertension is more common in women than in men.

Also morecommon in women than men are the autoimmune disorders (for example, multiplesclerosis, Sjogren's syndrome, and lupus). In these diseases, the immune systemattacks the body's own tissue. Autoimmune disorders afflict at least 12 millionAmericans and 3/4 of them are women. One autoimmune disorder, rheumatoidarthritis, affects approximately 1.3 million Americans, with 2/3 of thesufferers being women.

Osteoporosis, acondition in which bone density decreases, occurs in both men and women.Overall, however, it is more of a major health concern for women. Some studieshave reported that as many as one of every two women over 50 will suffer afracture related to osteoporosis in her lifetime. By age 65, some women havelost half of their skeletal mass. A woman's doctor can assess her bone densityand make recommendations as to how to prevent further bone loss.



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