Mother’s Day Kicks Off National Women’s Health Week
Monday, May 15, 2023
Mother's Day kicked off Women's Health Week this week, and experts are reminding women to prioritize their well-being.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns women who are caregivers are at greater risk for poor physical and mental health.
Dr. Karol Watson, professor of medicine at the University of California-Los Angeles and director of the Barbra Streisand Women's Heart Health Program, cautioned women to know their risk for heart disease, the nation's number one killer of women.
"A lot of it will have to do with seeing your health-care provider," Watson outlined. "Knowing your blood pressure, your cholesterol, but also talking to your family about your family history, anything that you might need to know that could impact your own risk."
Experts also urged women to make appointments for any screenings they may have put off during COVID, such as a mammogram or screenings for cervical or colon cancer.
Sonya Young Aadam, CEO of the California Black Women's Health Project, said it's important for women of color in particular to bring a friend or family member to their medical appointments to help advocate for them, especially during a health crisis.
"Too often we experience -- sometimes implicit, sometimes explicit -- bias when we're going for health care," Young Aadam emphasized. "Don't go alone, because there is safety in numbers."
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 re-emphasized the importance of eating right, exercising and reducing stress.
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