Women’s health is the effect of gender on disease and health that encompasses a broad range of biological and psycho-social issues. Women’s health is the concept that examines gender differences in health and disease states. The average life expectancy has almost doubled for women (79 years for women and 73 years for men), when compared with averages during the turn of the century. During different phases of a women’s life cycle there are complex interactions that exist between sex hormones,physiological changes, and emotional issues. Physiological changes occur as early as embryonic development when hormones program structural differences between male and female brains. During reproductive years, sex hormones profoundly influence reproduction and development, which creates a spectrum of gender specific health issues. With advancing age and onset of menopause, women’s risk factors for disease is comparably similar to men’s. Although the same disease may affect women as men, it is thought that biological mechanisms and psycho-social differences influence the clinical course of the disease (natural history) differently in women. The number of women working has doubled within the past 50 years. The effect of work stress, new environmental exposures and multiple roles is expected to have health and social impact.
The leading causes of death among women are cardiovascular disease, malignant cancer, cerebrovascular disease, chronic lung disease, pneumonia/influenza, and diabetes. Additionally, women can be prone to osteoporosis, alcohol abuse, psychological disorders, human immunodeficiency virus infection, and violence.