Women's Health from Age 50 on: A New Special Report from Harvard Medical School

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Most people know the rock-bottom basics of good health: eat right, exercise, don’t smoke, get plenty of sleep. But there's actually more to staying healthy than that, especially for middle-aged and older women.

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A Guide to Women’s Health Fifty and Forward aims to help women take stock of their health at midlife, understand their health risks, and learn what they can do to stay healthy and strong.

Most people know the rock-bottom basics of good health: eat right, exercise, don’t smoke, get plenty of sleep. But there's actually more to staying healthy than that, especially for middle-aged and older women. A Guide to Women’s Health Fifty and Forward, a new Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School, addresses health issues of special concern to these women—osteoporosis, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and microvascular disease (a type of heart disease that’s more common in women). It also offers advice on age-related health issues that are more bothersome than serious, including wrinkles, hair loss, and hot flashes.

Many women begin making more and more health-related decisions at midlife—when to have a mammogram, colonoscopy, or bone density test; how much to exercise; whether to take a bone-protecting medication; and more. A Guide to Women’s Health Fifty and Forward aims to help women take stock of their health at midlife, understand their health risks, and learn what they can do to stay healthy and strong.

Lifestyle choices, of course, are significant contributors to overall health. Women’s health studies have shown that it’s never too late to feel better by living better. Women who simply replace animal fats with vegetable oils in their diet cut their risk of heart attack almost in half. And according to one study, four lifestyle changes—stopping smoking, becoming more active, reducing blood pressure, and controlling diabetes—greatly reduces a woman’s likelihood of landing in a nursing home.
The report gives women important information and advice on such matters as these:

  •     their 10-year risk of heart disease
  •     when to have a mammogram
  •     the major medical conditions that confront women and how to avoid them
  •     sleeping soundly
  •     minimizing the risk of potentially disabling disorders
  •     four types of depression that may affect women.

A Guide to Women’s Health Fifty and Forward is available for $18 from Harvard Health Publications (http://www.health.harvard.edu), the publishing division of Harvard Medical School. Order it online at http://www.health.harvard.edu/WHFF or by calling 877–649–9457 (toll-free).

Media: Contact Raquel Schott at Raquel_Schott(at)hms(dot)harvard(dot)edu for a complimentary copy of the Special Health Report, or to receive our press releases directly

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Raquel Schott
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