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Arizona Women and Their Health

PHOTO: "National Women's Health Week" encourages women in Arizona and around the country to take the time to take better care of themselves. Photo credit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
PHOTO: "National Women's Health Week" encourages women in Arizona and around the country to take the time to take better care of themselves. Photo credit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
May 11, 2015

PHOENIX - Women in Arizona and everywhere are encouraged to take the time to take better care of their health. That's the message attached to National Women's Health Week, which is this week. Dr. DeShawn Taylor, a gynecologist with Desert Star Family Planning in the Phoenix area, says it's critical for every woman to have an annual checkup.

"Blood pressure, cardiovascular health, healthy lifestyle, family planning, birth control," she says. "All of those things are addressed in the annual checkup."

Taylor says many women work and raise families and simply don't take the time to take care of themselves. She says being healthier for some women can start with trying to exercise more, eat more nutritious food, and not use tobacco.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the U.S., killing more than 250 million each year, and accounting for 25 percent of all female deaths.

Dr. Laura Dalton, medical director with Planned Parenthood Arizona, says the Affordable Care Act is helping many women get coverage and have regular checkups.

"An important point is reproductive health care, such as well-women visits and most contraceptive methods, are covered at full cost under the Affordable Care Act," says Dalton. "They also have the chance of getting onto a health insurance plan under the Affordable Care Act, where maybe it wasn't possible for them before."

Dalton says wellness visits at Planned Parenthood include screening for breast and cervical cancer, family planning, family medical history and other risk factors.

Troy Wilde, Public News Service - AZ