Women's Health

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

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Quick GuideWomen's Health: Nutrition and Health Care Reform

Women's Health: Nutrition and Health Care Reform

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 cessation of menses. Now, most women live for several 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, diminished vison, 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 or drug abuse. Studies show that it is never too late to benefit from an improved diet, moderate exercise, cessation of cigarette smoking and drug usage, not abusing drugs, and decreasing alcohol consumption.

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.

Medically reviewed by Wayne Blocker, MD; Board Certified Obstetrics and Gynecology

REFERENCES:

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 11/12/2015

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