April 15, 2024 5:46 am
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Health Experts to Women: Put Your Personal Health on the Front Burner

Credit: iStock

Mike Moen

As Women’s Health Week continues, experts in Wisconsin and elsewhere are reminding women to prioritize their well-being.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned women who are caregivers are at greater risk for poor physical and mental health.

Dr. Karla Dickmeyer, OB/GYN at the Madison Women’s Health Clinic, said women are still asked to juggle a lot, including household responsibilities, family commitments, as well as their careers. She argued women should not have to cave to all of society’s demands.

“Take a deep breath, spend time with our family and our friends as opposed to constantly trying to check off another thing on our list,” Dickmeyer recommended.

More broadly, experts said it is important to remember heart disease is the nation’s number one killer of women, and pointed out keeping track of risk factors, such as cholesterol levels, can help with disease prevention. They also urged women to make appointments for any screenings they may have put off during the pandemic, such as a mammogram or screenings for cervical or colon cancer.

Dr. Donna O’Shea, an OB/GYN and chief medical officer of population health at UnitedHealthcare, said parents need to be on the lookout for symptoms of depression and anxiety in adolescent girls.

“Especially after COVID, we found that 57% of high school girls experienced persistent feelings of sadness in the last year,” O’Shea reported. “Ten years ago, that number was only 36%.”

For Women’s Health Week, the CDC reemphasized the importance of eating right, exercising and reducing stress.

Disclosure: United Healthcare contributes to our fund for reporting on Health Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

This story was written by Mike Moen, a producer at Public News Service, where this story first appeared.

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