Women’s Health Week
urges annual check-ups
Major diseases can be successfully
treated or avoided if caught early
National Women's Health Week was kicked off today with a simple message from state and women's health leaders to island women: Get an annual check-up.
Major killers of women -- heart disease, cancer and stroke -- can be prevented or treated if caught early, they pointed out. Despite that, they said:
>> More than 22 percent of Hawaii women have high blood cholesterol, a chief risk factor for heart disease, the No. 1 killer of women in Hawaii.
Since women are usually the caregivers in the family, "unfortunately, they often put themselves last when it comes to health care," said Dr. Chiyome Fukino, state health director.
>> Cancer is the second leading cause of women's deaths.
>> About 6.8 percent of women have been diagnosed with diabetes and an estimated 10,000 women remain undiagnosed.
>> More than 40 percent of Hawaii women are overweight, which contributes to heart disease, cancer, diabetes, stroke, arthritis and mental health problems.
"National Women's Health Week is a good opportunity for families across the state to take care of the 'caregiver.' Ask the women in your life if they are up to date on all their screenings and encourage them to see their doctor."
The Women's Health Ohana Coalition joined the state Health Department in urging women to call their doctors and schedule an appointment.
Recommended health screenings and immunization guidelines for women at different ages may be seen on the Health Department's Web site: www.hawaii.gov/doh.
More information also is available by calling Betty Wood, Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant, at 586-4530.