Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital
Common Health Issues in Women
Ladies, you put everyone else first. Start making time for your health. Common health topics related to Women includes pregnancy, diabetes, menopause, cervical cancer, heart conditions, mammograms, osteoporosis, and nutrition. Learn the warning signs and what to do to keep you at your healthiest.
• Women are underdiagnosed and undertreated for Coronary Artery Disease (CAD).
• Warning signs of a heart attack can be different in women than in men.
• Most common heart attack warning signs in women are lightheadedness, chest pain, chest pressure, chest numbness, cold sweat, trouble breathing, upset stomach, and nausea. Also, for some women, warning signs can include feeling tired, heartburn, cough, or loss of appetite.
• Women should commit to healthy eating and exercise habits to maintain a healthy heart.
• Good nutrition is the key to healthy bones.
• For healthy bones consume calcium and vitamin D.
• Avoid smoking and excess alcohol consumption.
• Women, on average, need about 1,000 milligrams of calcium each day and, after age 50, about 1,200 milligrams each day.
• Women under age 50 should consume about 400-800 IU of vitamin D and above age 50 about 800-1,000 IU each day.
• Bone density tests for women should begin at or around age 50.
Cervical Cancer Screening
• Common risk factors for cervical cancer include being Human Papillomavirus (HPV) positive, smoking, having HIV, using birth control pills for five or more years, and giving birth to three or more children.
• Cervical cancer is the easiest cancer to prevent by having regular screenings and conducting follow up tests.
• Screenings and follow up testing include routine Pap tests and HPV tests.
• A Pap test is recommended for all women age 21-65 and older.
All VA facilities have a full-time Women Veterans Program Manager who is available to help women Veterans be aware of the health services they need. Contact your Primary Care Provider to discuss your health care needs.