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Top 10 Health Problems in America

by
author image Michelle Kulas
Michelle Kulas worked in the health-care field for 10 years, serving as a certified nurses' assistant, dental assistant and dental insurance billing coordinator. Her areas of expertise include health and dental topics, parenting, nutrition, homeschooling and travel.
Top 10 Health Problems in America
Accidental injuries are among the top 10 health problems in America. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images

According to the Mayo Clinic, the top health problems in America vary slightly between men and women. Men are more likely to commit suicide, and it is the eighth most common health problem for men. Men and women both need to be concerned, however, about the health problems that are common to both of them.

Heart Disease

For both men and women, heart disease kills the largest number of Americans per year. According to the American Heart Association, heart disease, which causes heart attacks and strokes, kills more people than all forms of cancer combined. Quit smoking and eat a diet low in fat and sodium to cut your risk.

Cancer

Lung cancer is the cancer responsible for the most deaths in both men and women. Women are also affected greatly by breast and colorectal cancers, according to the Mayo Clinic. Reduce your risk of cancers by not smoking, eating a healthy diet, using sunscreen and getting regular cancer screenings.

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Stroke

Stroke is the number three cause of death in women, and the number four cause of death in men. Lifestyle changes that can reduce your risk of stroke, according to the Mayo Clinic, include quitting smoking, losing excess weight, exercising and eating a healthy diet.

Respiratory Diseases

Respiratory diseases such as bronchitis and emphysema belong to a class of diseases called COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute recommends quitting smoking to prevent COPD, as it is the largest risk factor.

Injuries

According to the Mayo Clinic, the Centers for Disease Control states that the leading cause of fatal injuries in both men and women is motor vehicle accidents. Wearing your seatbelt, driving safely and not mixing alcohol and driving can prevent these accidents. Other causes of fatal accidents include poisoning and falls.

Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes can cause kidney damage, heart disease and blindness. It is also a leading cause of death in both men and women. Lose extra weight, exercise and eat a healthy diet to prevent diabetes.

Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimer's disease is the fifth-leading cause of death in women, and the tenth in men. Doctors do not know exactly what causes Alzheimer's disease, but there may be a link between this disease and heart disease, as well as head injuries.

Influenza and Pneumonia

Most healthy people can fight off a simple case of influenza, but in some people, it may cause complications such as pneumonia, which are potentially fatal. Wash your hands frequently and get a flu vaccine each year as recommended by your doctor. Also, ask your doctor if a pneumonia vaccine is right for you.

Kidney Disease

Kidney disease is the ninth-leading cause of death for both male and female Americans. It can be caused by high blood pressure or diabetes, according to the Mayo Clinic. The American Diabetes Association stresses the importance of keeping your blood sugar under control if you are a diabetic in order to prevent kidney disease.

Septicemia

Septicemia, or blood poisoning is the tenth-leading cause of death among women. It is usually a complication of a bacterial infection such as a lung or urinary tract infection. The best ways to prevent septicemia are to wash your hands often, seek medical care for any infections in the body and to change tampons often and avoid using tampons that are more absorbent than you need.

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