Just as breast cancer is more likely to affect women than men, there are several other health issues and conditions which impact the genders differently.
The impact and prevalence of alcohol abuse, for example, can be different in men and women. Men are more likely to become addicted to alcohol, but the health affects of alcohol abuse are more serious in women. These effects include an increased risk for breast cancer, heart disease and fetal alcohol syndrome.
Similarly, women are more likely to die following a heart attack than men despite the fact that heart disease is the leading cause of death for men in the United States.
Women are also more likely to show signs of depression and anxiety than men. Depression is the most common health problem for women, and they receive the diagnosis at higher levels than men. The same is true of osteoarthritis.
Even STDs can be more serious for women than men. Untreated STDs cause infertility in at least 24,000 American women every year – and they are untreated more often in women because symptoms are less obvious.
And though most risk factors for strokes apply to both men and women, there are several gender-specific risk factors that affect women. Because of this, there are actually more women who suffer from strokes than men. Factors for women, but not men, include taking birth control pills or being pregnant.
With all this considered, it is perhaps understandable that – according to a survey by the American Psychological Association – half of all women reported experiencing stress. These numbers were also higher than those reported by men, only 39% of which reported feeling stress.
Regardless of statistics, however, it is important for both women and men to do what they can to maintain a healthy lifestyle. A major part of that is a healthy diet and regular exercise, as well as regular checkups with a family doctor. To find out how SOMC can help you in those departments, visit www.somc.org.