Women's Health (cont.)

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The mature woman - post menopause

Before the 20th century, the average woman didn't live long enough to worry about the quality of her life after age 50 or so. Now, with her increased life span, the average woman lives decades beyond menopause.

This is not necessarily good news. 50% of U.S. women over age 75 are living alone in relative social isolation. Ninety percent of residents in nursing homes are women. Not only does the mature woman often have to deal with osteoporosis, cancer, and heart disease, but she is also confronted with other health problems including hearing loss, eye problems, incontinence, arthritis, insomnia, memory loss, and sexual dysfunction.

The problems of a sedentary, isolated life style can be compounded by poor diet, smoking, and alcohol and drug abuse. Studies show that it is never too late to benefit from an improved diet, exercise, not smoking, not abusing drugs, and avoiding alcohol excess.

Disease, rather than normal aging, usually accounts for loss of function in the mature woman. Nothing can be done about the passage of years, but a great deal can be done throughout a woman's life to prevent and treat the diseases that keep her from being in the best possible health.


CDC.gov. Adult Cigarette Smoking in the United States: Current Estimates.

Fauci, Anthony S., et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 17th ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2011.

National Cancer Institute. Breast Cancer Risk in American Women.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/28/2014

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