Chronic illnesses are a major global health concern. According to the World Health Organization, by 2030, 70% of worldwide deaths will be due to chronic lifestyle diseases. Women are particularly at risk due to unhealthy living habits. Many women prioritize their families’ well-being over their own, leading to health neglect. This is even more challenging for working women who are juggling both home and work responsibilities.
The primary lifestyle diseases that affect women include heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and certain types of cancer. These diseases can result in loss of independence, years of disability, or death, and place a significant financial burden on healthcare systems.
How to Prevent Lifestyle Diseases
To prevent these diseases, it’s crucial to maintain a healthy weight, exercise regularly, eat a balanced diet, and abstain from smoking. These measures can reduce the risk of chronic diseases by up to 80%. Lifestyle diseases often begin in childhood and develop silently over years, making them “silent killers.”
Factors Contributing to Lifestyle Diseases in Women
1. Unhealthy Eating Habits
Irregular meal timings and unhealthy eating lead to “hidden hunger,” which is a lack of essential micronutrients.
Stress, inadequate sleep, and lack of physical activity contribute to weight gain. Elevated cortisol levels due to stress and lack of sleep lead to body inflammation, increased hunger, and ultimately weight gain.
Women are at a higher risk of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes starting as early as 35 years of age.
After menopause, women have higher overall cholesterol levels compared to men, affecting their risk of lifestyle diseases.
Diabetes increases the risk of heart disease more in women than in men. It also doubles the risk of a second heart attack and heart failure in women who have already had one.
6. Metabolic Syndrome
Women with metabolic syndrome are more likely to develop heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
Women smokers are more likely to have a heart attack compared to male smokers. Smoking also leads to other diseases due to persistent, low-grade inflammation.
To reduce the risk of lifestyle diseases, women should adopt healthy behaviors, increase physical activity, quit smoking, follow a high-fiber, low-fat diet, maintain good sleep habits, limit alcohol consumption, manage stress, and seek necessary support.