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Caring for TN Starts With Caring for TN Women

Women's Health Week is this week in Tennessee, and women are encouraged to get preventive health screenings and increase the healthy food they eat and the amount of exercise they get. (Kate Sumbler/flickr.com)
Women's Health Week is this week in Tennessee, and women are encouraged to get preventive health screenings and increase the healthy food they eat and the amount of exercise they get. (Kate Sumbler/flickr.com)
May 12, 2016

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – In the midst of being mothers, daughters, wives and caregivers, women in Tennessee don't always make time to take care of themselves.

That's why the Tennessee Department of Health is celebrating National Women's Health Week and reminding women in the state to take small, manageable steps to lead longer, healthier lives.

Morgan McDonald, family health and wellness director for the Tennessee Department of Health, says when women are healthy, it impacts their entire family.

"Certainly women themselves are the best equipped to take care of themselves, and we want to really encourage them and empower them to do that, both for their own benefit as well as for the benefit of the people that they love," she stresses.

According to the state, heart disease continues to be the leading cause of death for Tennessee women, claiming more than 7,000 lives in 2014.

Cancer and chronic lower respiratory disease, stroke and heart disease also top the list.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is offering a free online pledge to encourage women to begin taking better care of themselves.

According to the state's most recent data, 23 percent of Tennessee women still smoke, and with tobacco use a major risk factor for life-threatening diseases, McDonald says free programs are available to help guide women through the steps of quitting.

"Smoking is one of the number one killers of all Tennesseans, and particularly of women as it relates to heart attack, stroke, to all kinds of cancers," she points out.

The Tennessee Department of Health advises women looking to improve their health among other things to get annual well-checks, eat healthy, maintain a healthy weight, limit alcohol use, get at least 30 minutes of physical exercise every day.


Stephanie Carson, Public News Service - TN