This research done on the topic of vulnerable groups in the population seeks to understand the hardships and challenges a group of aggregates faces in a life span. Vulnerability is generally referred to those individuals or groups who, due to age, poor health, susceptibility, minority status or their otherwise disempowered position in society may be prone to poor outcomes in health problems or mistreated physically, emotionally or psychologically. Although there are many groups that could be considered vulnerable in the population, this paper will discuss women as aggregates.
Women are often considered vulnerable due to many different aspects of health that differ from men. They have unique health needs due to reproduction and anatomy, and are prone to different diseases than men are. Women’s risk factors and prevalence of certain diseases and their lifespan also differ compared to men. According to the United States Census Bureau, the total population percentage of females in the United States was last measured at 50. 82 in 2011.
This means that half of the United States population is prone to these specific diseases and risk factors and needs to be recognized, screened and treated appropriately. By identifying and prioritizing the risks for women as an aggregate, we as a country can help half of our population live longer healthier lives. Women have many health risks that need to be acknowledged in order to teach patients on prevention and screening. Some diseases cannot be avoided, but there are things all women can do to improve their health. Knowing how to make healthy choices regarding physician checkups, consumption of food, exercise regimens, and lifestyle behaviors can help prevent or delay many of the common chronic diseases seen in women.
Major threats women are more prone to than men include heart disease, cancer, stroke, bone disease, chronic lower respiratory diseases, and diabetes. WOMEN AS AN AGGREGATE 3 Heart disease is a priority health issue women are disposed to developing. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the United States, killing 292,188 women in 2009. This is a greater mortality rate than all other diseases combined. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for African American and white women in the United States.
As for the Hispanic women, heart disease and cancer cause roughly the same number of deaths each year. For American Indian or Alaska Native and Asian or Pacific Islander women, heart disease is second only to cancer. Although heart disease is sometimes thought of as a man’s disease, around the same number of women and men die each year of heart disease in the United States. Women have a tendency to have delayed treatment related to the different signs and symptoms than those of men. The gastrointestinal and back ache symptoms presented by women may be misdiagnosed or maltreated.
Being second behind heart disease, cancer is another prevalent cause of death in women. Breast cancer is the leading cancer for women in the United States. Lung cancer is the second most common form of cancer and colorectal cancer is third among Caucasian women. The number 2 and 3 cancers are reversed among black and Asian/Pacific Island women. For all women, the fourth leading cancer is uterine cancer. Although it is more prevalent in Caucasian women, more African American women die of breast cancer due to economic and social issues.
Every year, about 425,000 women experience a stroke and nearly 77,000 women die from causes related to strokes. 55,000 more women than men experience stroke, and women have a higher lifetime risk of stroke than men. A stroke can lead to immobility which ties into a woman’s risk of osteoporosis and arthritis.
A woman is prone to loss of calcium in her bones and immobility can lead to deterioration of bone density. Along with these priority risks to watch for WOMEN AS AN AGGREGATE 4 in women, poor lifestyle behaviors could lead to preventable conditions such as COPD and diabetes. According to a medical journal, year 2000 marked the first year that more women than men died from COPD.
This trend is expected to continue and grow as the number of women smokers continues to increase as it has in recent years. Along with this preventable disease, diabetes is also becoming more of an issue with women’s health. Of the 25. 6 million adults with diabetes in the United States in 2010, 12. 6 million were women. A major cause of this phenomenon is the increasing obesity epidemic. There are many diseases and conditions, whether preventable or not, women are at risk for developing. It is our job as nurses in the community to identify these risks, screen, and treat appropriately.
Women greater than 25 are recommended to get checked or tested for a list of aspects of health in order to prevent complications. A woman should have a physical examination every 2– 3 years to screen for diseases, assess risk for future problems, discuss lifestyle habits, and keep vaccinations up to date. A dental exam is recommended at least once a year to remove plaque and bacteria that could lead to tooth and gum disease and to check for tongue and mouth cancer.
Blood pressure screening should be completed at least every 2 years in your health care professional’s office to identify hypertension. A woman’s cholesterol should be screened every 5 years starting at age 35. Begin screening at age 20 if you smoke, are obese, have diabetes or high blood pressure or have a family history of heart disease to detect abnormalities and help reduce your risk of heart disease. A pap test and STD testing should be done every 3-5 years for women ages 21-65 to help identify women at risk for developing cervical cancer and to prevent spread of HIV and other STDs.
A colorectal exam should be completed every 10 years starting at age 50 to identify and remove precancerous polyps or early cancers and to help find early signs of colon WOMEN AS AN AGGREGATE 5 cancer in the anal canal and lower rectum. Mammograms should be done every 1–2 years starting at age 40 to identify possible early signs of breast cancer. Research has been done on interventions to improve health for women as a vulnerable group.
These include eating a healthy diet, living an active lifestyle, reducing stress, avoiding smoking and second hand smoke exposure, consuming alcohol in moderation, practicing safe sex, reducing sun exposure, avoiding excessive weigh gain, managing chronic diseases and listening to your doctor. There are many reasons why these interventions can save a woman’s life and should be done.
The right diet can greatly improve your long-term health. A diet high in fat, sodium, and sugar can increase your cholesterol and affect your blood pressure. Eating a healthy diet may also reduce your risk for cancer and diabetes. Obesity is a risk factor for many of the leading causes of death, including heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, and kidney disease. As for living an active lifestyle, regular physical activity is important for maintaining your health.
Thirty minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, at least four days a week, is enough to help keep your body feeling strong. Stress is another aspect that needs to be managed to take control of your health. Occasional stress is unavoidable, but chronic stress can take a significant toll on your body. Stress isn’t just a mental phenomenon. It creates physical changes in your body. Another major intervention that could improve a women’s health is to obtain from smoking and drinking alcohol in moderation.
Smoking significantly increases your risk of heart disease, cancer and stroke and excessive alcohol consumption has been linked to pancreatitis, cancers, heart damage, stroke, accidental injury, and suicide. Along with these interventions, a healthy sex life is important to both your physical and emotional wellbeing. It’s important to make smart choices about sex. WOMEN AS AN AGGREGATE 6 Practicing safe sex can help to reduce your risk of contracting an STD. Another way to live a longer life is avoiding too much sun. Lying in the sun may feel good but, unprotected exposure to the sun’s rays or tanning beds increases your chances of skin cancer.
And lastly, when your doctor is treating you for a condition, it’s important to use any treatments as you are told. If you don’t, you’ll increase your risk of complications. You may also up the chances of making the situation worse. Regarding these interventions to improve a women’s health, Healthy People 2020 has constructed goals concerning the most prevalent women’s health risks and objectives to prevent them.
A topic of Healthy People is Arthritis, Osteoporosis, and Chronic Back Conditions with a goal of preventing illness and disability related to arthritis and other rheumatic conditions, osteoporosis, and chronic back conditions by reducing the mean level of joint pain among adults with doctor-diagnosed arthritis and the proportion of adults with doctor-diagnosed arthritis who experience a limitation in activity due to arthritis or joint symptoms.
Another includes Heart Disease and Stroke with a goal to improve cardiovascular health and quality of life through prevention, detection, and treatment of risk factors for heart attack and stroke, early identification and treatment of heart attacks and strokes, and prevention of repeat cardiovascular events by increased overall cardiovascular health in the U. S. population a reduction in coronary heart disease stroke deaths and an increase the proportion of adults who have had their blood pressure measured within the preceding 2 years.
Healthy people also covers women’s risk of Diabetes by making a goal to reduce the disease and economic burden of diabetes mellitus and improve the quality of life for all persons who have, or are at risk for, DM by reducing the annual number of new cases of diagnosed diabetes in the population and lower the death rate among persons with diabetes. WOMEN AS AN AGGREGATE 7.
In conclusion, women are considered to be a vulnerable group due to the many health risks and complications they are prone to. It is extremely important to identify, prioritize, screen, prevent, and treat problems associated with the health of half of our United States population. With the help nurses in the community, we can help teach women the importance of taking advantage of the many interventions that could help prevent complications in their health and help them live longer healthier lives. WOMEN AS AN AGGREGATE 8.
References Disease and Conditions: Data and Statistics. (2014, April 14).
Retrieved December 3, 2014, from http://www. cdc. gov/DataStatistics/ Preventive Health Screenings for Women. (2014, January 15). Retrieved December 3, 2014, from http://www. healthywomen. org/content/article/preventive-health-screenings- women Health. (2014, June 20).
Retrieved December 3, 2014, from http://www. census. gov/ 2020 Topics and Objectives. (2014, December 1). Retrieved December 3, 2014, from http://www. healthypeople. gov/2020/ Leading Cancers in Women. (2004, June 7). Retrieved December 3, 2014, from http://www. medicinenet. com/script/main/art. asp? articlekey=25264.