Women, Test Your Health IQ

View the Health Benefits of Sex

Women, Test Your Health IQ

Just how much do you know about your health? Do you know what the leading cause of death for all women is? Are you more at risk of a hip fracture than a man? Test your knowledge about women's health issues by answering the questions below. Click on the correct answer for each question to find out if you're right. There is also a link to learn more about the topic.

  1. Breast cancer is the leading cause of death for all women:
    1. True
    2. False


  2. In general, a woman should have a Pap smear if she is sexually active and has a cervix, at least every 3 years:
    1. True
    2. False


  3. Pregnant women with diabetes are at greater risk for:
    1. Preeclampsia (or pregnancy-induced hypertension)
    2. Cesarean section
    3. Infections
    4. All of the above


  4. How many servings of fruits and vegetables are recommended to eat every day?
    1. Three
    2. Four
    3. Five
    4. Six
    5. Seven


  5. Women have higher hospitalization and death rates due to asthma than men:
    1. True
    2. False


  6. Breast cancer causes more deaths than lung cancer in women:
    1. True
    2. False


  7. Women do not need to take folic acid until after they find out they are pregnant:
    1. True
    2. False


  8. Women have a lower risk than men for having hip fractures:
    1. True
    2. False


  9. Intimate partner violence (IPV) is defined as the act of committing physical violence against a spouse:
    1. True
    2. False


  10. The leading cause of workplace injury for women is musculoskeletal injuries:
    1. True
    2. False


  11. Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) results in mental and physical problems that are usually outgrown by puberty:
    1. True
    2. False


  12. Approximately 30 percent of new cases of HIV infection in the United States are among women:
    1. True
    2. False


  13. Toxoplasmosis is an infection that causes little or no problems in pregnant women, fetuses, or newborns:
    1. True
    2. False

1. Breast cancer is the leading cause of death for all women - False. Heart disease is the number one cause of death in women. Heart disease was responsible for approximately 373,600 deaths in women in 1999. Breast cancer caused about 41,000 deaths in women the same year. You can lower your risk for heart disease by getting regular exercise, maintaining a healthy body weight, quitting smoking, and eating a nutritious diet. The other leading causes of death for women are cancer, stroke, chronic lower respiratory diseases, and diabetes. For more information, visit the Heart Center.

2. In general, a woman should have a Pap smear if she is sexually active and has a cervix, at least every 3 years - True. A pap test is a routine screening test used to detect cervical cancer and cervical changes that could lead to cervical cancer. Through early detection and treatment, cervical cancer can be prevented. Women are encouraged to have a test done every 3 years. Your health care provider may determine that testing may need to be done more frequently, based on your sexual and medical history. For more information, visit the MedicineNet.com Pap Smear Center.

3. Pregnant women with diabetes are at greater risk for...? - All of the above. Although expectant mothers with diabetes can and do have normal, healthy pregnancies and deliveries, they are at greater risk for complications. Diabetes is a serious and complex disease. Diabetes can cause heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney failure, leg and foot amputations, pregnancy complications, and deaths related to flu and pneumonia. Many Americans are unaware that they have diabetes. Better nutrition, physical activity, control of blood glucose levels, and routine/regular visits to a doctor can delay the progression of diabetes. For more information, visit the Diabetes Center.

Quick GuideThe Surprising Health Benefits of Sex

The Surprising Health Benefits of Sex

4. How many servings of fruits and vegetables are recommended to eat every day? - Five. The Centers for Disease Control recommends Americans eat five or more fruits and vegetables everyday. Eating fruits and vegetables can improve your health and may reduce the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases. For more information, visit the MedicineNet.com Nutrition Center.

5.Women have higher hospitalization and death rates due to asthma than men - True. The hospitalization rate for asthma peaked in the mid-1980s and has gradually declined since then. Regional differences persist, as do higher rates among blacks, women, and children. The number of deaths and death rates from asthma increased gradually during 1980-1995. Although a determination with certainty can not be made, data for 1996-1998 indicate that mortality rates are starting to plateau or decrease. The data from 1999 cannot be directly compared with the data from previous years because of the change in the classification system. Disparities persist with higher mortality rates documented among blacks, women, and the elderly, along with regional differences. Asthma can be a lifelong condition for which there is no cure. However, asthma can be controlled by taking medication and by avoiding contact with environmental "triggers" such as cockroaches, dust mites, furry pets, mold, tobacco smoke, and certain chemicals. For more, please visit the Asthma Center.

6.Breast cancer causes more deaths than lung cancer in women - False. In 1987, lung cancer surpassed breast cancer to become the leading cause of cancer death among U.S. women. Cigarette smoking is the major cause of lung cancer among women. About 90 percent of all lung cancer deaths among U.S. women smokers are due to smoking. For more information, visit the Lung Center.

7. Women do not need to take folic acid until after they find out they are pregnant - False. It is important for any woman who could possibly become pregnant to take 400 micrograms of folic acid every day. Folic acid, also known as folate, is a B-vitamin needed for a baby's development and growth. It has been shown to reduce the risk for some serious birth defects of the brain and spine by up to 70 percent. Folic acid is needed in the first 28 days of pregnancy- before most women even realize they're pregnant. Folic acid can be found in vitamin pills (like multi-vitamins and prenatal vitamins) and in some enriched grain foods (check the labels). Folic acid cannot prevent all birth defects, but it is important in the earliest days of pregnancy. Take folic acid now, so your body is ready when you are. For more, please visit our Pregnancy Planning Center.

8. Women have a lower risk than men for having hip fractures - False. In the United States, one of every three adults 65 years old or older falls each year. Falls are the leading cause of injury deaths among people 65 years and older. Women sustain about 75 percent to 80 percent of all hip fractures. Half of all older adults hospitalized for hip fractures cannot return home or live independently after their injuries. To reduce the chance of falls: maintain a regular exercise program (exercise improves strength, balance, and coordination); make your home safer; ask your health care provider to review medications to reduce side effects and interactions; and have your vision checked (poor vision can increase the risk of falling). For more information, please visit the Senior Health Center.

9. Intimate partner violence (IPV) is defined as the act of committing physical violence against a spouse - False. Intimate partner violence (IPV) is actual or threatened physical or sexual violence, or psychological/emotional abuse. Some of the common terms used to describe intimate partner violence are domestic abuse, spouse abuse, domestic violence, courtship violence, battering, marital rape, and date rape. Intimate partners include current or former spouses, current or former boyfriends/girlfriends, or dates. More women than men experience intimate partner violence. In a national survey, 25 percent of female participants reported being raped or physically assaulted by an intimate partner at some time in their lives. In contrast, only eight percent of male participants reported such an experience. For more, please read our article, Domestic Violence Goes Unnoticed.

10. The leading cause of workplace injury for women is musculoskeletal injuries - True. Sprains and strains, carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, and other musculoskeletal disorders account for more than half (52 percent) of the injuries and illnesses affecting female workers, as compared to 45 percent affecting male workers. Properly adjusting office chairs and work stations, taking breaks, and reducing the forcefulness or frequency of hand/wrist movements can decrease the risk for these types of work-related injuries. For more, please visit the First Aid Center.

11. Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) results in mental and physical problems that are usually outgrown by puberty - False. Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is a condition resulting in a group of physical and mental disorders in children of mothers who drink heavily during pregnancy. FAS is characterized by abnormal facial features, growth retardation, and central nervous system problems. Individuals with FAS may have problems with learning, memory, attention span, problem solving, speech, and hearing. They can also have problems in school and problems getting along with others. FAS is an irreversible, lifelong condition that affects every aspect of an individual's life and the lives of his or her family. However, FAS is 100 percent preventable - if a woman does not drink alcohol while she is pregnant. For more information, please visit the MedicineNet.com Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Center.

12. Approximately 30 percent of new cases of HIV infection in the United States are among women - True. There are an estimated 40,000 new cases of HIV infection in the United States each year. Approximately 30 percent of these cases are among women. About 75 percent of the newly infected women are exposed to HIV heterosexually. An estimated 64 percent are black. Many advances have been made in the treatment of HIV in the past decade, but prevention of infection is still the best protection. For more information, visit the HIV/AIDS Center.

13. Toxoplasmosis is an infection that causes little or no problems in pregnant women, fetuses, or newborns - False. Toxoplasmosis is an infection caused by a single-celled parasite named Toxoplasma gondii. Healthy adults acutely infected with Toxoplasma usually do not have symptoms or have minor symptoms such as swollen lymph glands and fever persisting for days to weeks. In addition, eye disease with loss of vision can occur, but this is not common. Infants born to mothers who are first infected with Toxoplasma several months before or during pregnancy are at risk for severe mental or physical illness. However, many infected infants have no symptoms until later in life. Mothers who are first infected with Toxoplasma more than 6 months before becoming pregnant almost never pass the infection to their children.

Infection can occur after accidentally swallowing infective Toxoplasma from undercooked meat, soil, or contaminated surfaces. This can happen by: 1) putting your hands to your mouth after gardening, cleaning a cat's litter box, or by touching anything that has come into contact with cat feces, or 2) eating or tasting undercooked meat that contains the parasite.

Take the following steps to prevent infection with Toxoplasma:

  • Cook meat to safe temperatures.
  • Use a food thermometer to ensure the meat is cooked all the way through to 160 degrees F.
  • Peel or thoroughly wash fruits and vegetables before eating to remove soil.
  • Wash cutting boards, dishes, counters, utensils, and hands with hot soapy water after they have contacted raw meat, or unwashed fruits and vegetables.
  • Pregnant women should wear gloves when gardening and during any contact with soil or sand because cat waste might be in soil or sand. After gardening or contact with soil or sand, wash hands thoroughly. Pregnant women should avoid changing cat litter if possible. If no one else is available to change the cat litter, pregnant women should use gloves, then wash hands thoroughly. The litter box should be changed daily because Toxoplasma requires several days to become infectious. Pregnant women should be encouraged to keep their cats inside and not adopt or handle stray cats. Cats should be fed only canned or dried commercial food or well-cooked table food, not raw or undercooked meat.

For more information, read our MedicineNet.com article on Toxoplasmosis.

For reliable in-depth information about health issues concerning women, please visit the Women's Health Center.

Portions of the above information has been provided with kind permission of the Centers for Disease Control (www.cdc.gov).


Subscribe to MedicineNet's General Health Newsletter

By clicking Submit, I agree to the MedicineNet's Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet's subscriptions at any time.

Reviewed on 5/13/2002

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors