elka-header.jpg (2)

Top Health Issues for Women

By staff

With an ever-changing environment and social landscape, we are experiencing new or higher numbers of health-related issues in women. With a more demanding lifestyle and women taking on roles including caregiver, mother and working. We are seeing the impacts on health within Australian women. Here we will discuss some of the main health concerns that have risen in the past few years and what resources are available in helping either alleviate or manage.

When understanding a person’s health status, we need to have an overall view of chronic disease and comorbidities (concurrent medical issues), mental health, sexual health and a self-assessment. These measures help us collect information to understand not only what we see from a blood test but how an individual may be feeling or understand their own health rating.

Women are more willing to visit a doctor or GP when they feel ill or that something isn’t right. Between 201-2018 89% of women reported visiting their GP. This is a great starting point by not ignoring the situation and speaking to a healthcare professional who can better explain the situation. A key factor is if you do not feel well and know it is more than a common cold, to go see a doctor.

Chronic Disease:

The term chronic disease is used to group a range of diseases together that can be long lasting and have persistent effects depending on the individual’s circumstances. Chronic diseases can have a major impact on an individual’s life. One in two Australian women have a chronic disease. 52% of females have reported having one or more chronic diseases. These can include arthritis, asthma, cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, mental and behavioral problems.

The major concerns affecting Australian women, number in population and percentage:

Arthritis

2,110,400

18.3%

Asthma

1,369,200

11.8%

Cancer

171,400

1.5%

Cardiovascular disease

2,152,300

18.6%

Diabetes

534,500

4.6%

Mental and Behavioral problems

2,217,500

19.2%

 

Cancer:

Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers among females. With an estimate of 46% of new cases of cancer in females each year.  BreastScreen Australia recommends having a screen every 2 years unless you feel there may be a need to come earlier. Regular breast screens are the best way of detecting cancer early on. It is mainly targeted at women 50 years and older as it is within this age group that the larger number of cancers is found and detected, however women of any age can seek a screening.

Mental and Behavioural problems:

Mental health within Australia is becoming a more predominate health issue in all ages. One in two Australian females have experienced a mental health problem. 22% of females aged 16-85 years have experienced symptoms of a mental health disorder in the past 12 months. Mental health issues can include anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder or eating disorders. Just like any health issue mental health can affect you at any time in your life and more than one condition can be experienced at the same time. There are a range of organizations and help available for individuals who are experiencing mental health problems within all states and countries.

What to do:

There are many resources and industry professionals available to help in all these situations. It just counts on you visiting and taking the time for your health. Speaking to a health care professional or a family or friend is the first step in recognizing and starting a plan to improve or better your health. Looking at your diet, supplementation, physical activity and lifestyle and really questioning if you could do and be better.  Find what works for you and make sure you make yourself your number one priority. Remember to take time for yourself and do the things you enjoy.

Resources and information links:

https://canceraustralia.gov.au/

https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/womens-health

https://www.beyondblue.org.au/

https://www.aihw.gov.au/

https://jeanhailes.org.au/

http://awhn.org.au/

https://www.womenshealthweek.com.au/