Women's Health Monthly

Women making heart with her hands

Our most read women's health topics of 2015

At the Center for Women's Health we work toward a vision of fully realized women's health and well-being. And supporting that vision are strategic initiatives that focus on areas of care which can have the greatest impact on all women: women's primary care, cardiovascular health, nutrition and breast health. Throughout 2015 we saw your interest in those same initiatives reflected in your wonderful responses to our social media posts, newsletters and other communications. So, in case you missed it, here's a recap of some of our most read features on heart health, nutrition and breast health from 2015 and a look forward at some things you can expect from the Center for Women's Health as we head into the new year.

Cardiovascular Health and Heart Disease
Heart disease isn't just the #1 killer of women (and men) in the US, it's also one of the most misunderstood diseases. We heard from some readers that our post on Young Women's Hearts at Risk from the NY Times back in April was a "wake-up call" to start thinking about preventive measures sooner than later.

Throughout the year you'll see our continued focus on women's heart health, from our clinical Women's Heart Program to our involvement in community and partner events (like the American Heart Association's Heart Ball on Feb. 2 or the Wear Red Day Celebration on Feb. 6), we want you to have the facts, help you understand your risk and learn more about what things you can do to prevent heart disease.

Breast Cancer and Breast Health
According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women, except for skin cancers. About 1 in 8 (12%)of  women in the US will develop breast cancer during their lifetime. Thanks in part to the remarkable attention given to finding a cure for breast cancer, especially during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, many women are looking to educate themselves about risk factors, their family history and preventive action.

Back in October, the American Cancer Society release updated mammography guidelines, adding confusion for women trying to be proactive about breast cancer screening. Our response was to provide women with all the information (through an NPR post Ok, When Am I Supposed to Get a Mammogram) so that they could understand why there are conflicting opinions and what actions they can take to establish an individualized screening schedule. And just this month, the U.S. Preventative Task Force released their updated guidelines, reaffirming their original recommendation. In addition, our October newsletter on Breast Self-Awareness was one of our most read newsletters of 2015, reminding women that breast changes are common as they age and helping them recognize when it's time to call their healthcare provider.

The results of our community survey suggest that nutrition is the number one topic women want to learn more about. And with all the information out there about dietary guidelines, nutrition and risk of disease, and weight management, it's clear that women need clear, concise information to help them take command of their own nutritional goals. 

Nutrition plays a vital role in women's health at every age. In addition to offering clinical nutrition counseling for women, we're also continuing our focus on the importance of nutrition during pregnancy. Our Pregnancy Plate continues to be one of our most popular tools for helping women understand the importance of good nutrition while they prepare for a new baby. We'll also be working with the OHSU Bob and Charlee Moore Institute for Nutrition and Wellness to promote their work on epigenetics (see our March 2015 newsletter for more on epigenetics) and the developmental origins of health and disease.