National Women’s Health Week is May 12-18, 2019
NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Health joins the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Women’s Health in celebrating National Women’s Health Week May 12 – 18, 2019. This nationwide initiative brings awareness to the importance of women’s health and empowers women to take small, manageable steps for longer, healthier and happier lives.
“So often as women we put the health and wellness of our loved ones first, but it’s never too early or late for women to make time for their own health,” said Tennessee Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey, MD, MBA, FAAP. “During National Women’s Health Week, we urge women to talk with their health care providers about which screenings and tests are right for them, when they should have them and how often.”
Simple steps to take charge of your own health include engaging in healthy behaviors such as avoiding smoking; wearing a seatbelt and not texting while driving; paying attention to mental health, including managing stress and getting enough sleep and visiting a health care professional for regular checkups and preventive screenings.
The leading cause of death for women in Tennessee continues to be heart disease, which claimed more than 7,000 women’s lives in 2017. The second leading cause of death for women in Tennessee is cancer, followed by chronic lower respiratory disease. Tobacco use is a major risk factor for these and other diseases. In 2017, 21 percent of adult women in Tennessee were current smokers.
TDH provides the Tennessee Tobacco QuitLine counseling service at no charge to all Tennesseans who want to stop tobacco use. Free nicotine replacement patches are also offered through the QuitLine. For more information, contact the QuitLine at 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visit the website http://www.tnquitline.org.
Pay Attention to Mental Health
Substance abuse and misuse also take a heavy toll on Tennessee women. More than 700 women in Tennessee died from drug overdose in 2017. While women in the state have lower rates of drug overdose deaths than men, they have a higher rate of outpatient visits and hospital stays for nonfatal drug overdoses. Learn more about substance use disorders among women at http://www.womenshealth.gov/mental-health/mental-health-conditions/alcohol-use-disorder-substance-use-disorder-and-addiction. Information on addictions and referrals for treatment are available by calling the Tennessee REDLINE at 1-800-889-9789.
Get Checkups and Preventive Screenings
Tennessee women are encouraged to talk with a health care provider to evaluate their current health status, discuss preventive screenings such as mammograms and Pap smears and make plans for health improvement. TDH offers a variety of women’s health services including family planning and breast and cervical cancer screenings; contact your local health department for information on services available in your area. Learn about planning your health care visit at http://www.womenshealth.gov/nwhw/about.