The most common type of cancer among women in the U.S. is breast cancer, of which there will be an estimated 268,600 new cases in 2019. Although rates of breast cancer have increased, deaths have been steadily decreasing since 1950. Similarly, although heart diseases are the leading cause of death among women, rates of death from such diseases have decreased over the past 60 years, reaching a low of 130.4 deaths per 100,000 population in 2016.
The death rate from suicide among U.S. women has increased slightly in recent years, highlighting the importance of mental health management and treatment. In 2018, it was estimated that 22.8 percent of all adult women in the United States suffered from some form of mental illness in the past year. During this time, instances of major depressive episodes, as well as serious thoughts of suicide, were most common among women aged 18 to 21 years. More women are, however, seeking treatment for their mental health problems than in previous years, in part due to an increased availability of such services and a decrease in social stigma surrounding mental illness.
One of the most important times in a woman’s life to be healthy is during pregnancy, as the health of the unborn baby depends on the health of the mother. Between 2013 and 2015, half of women aged 15 to 44 years expected to have a child in the future. In 2017, around 32 percent of these births were by cesarean delivery. However, despite the importance of being healthy during pregnancy, around a quarter of women who gave birth in 2015 were obese prior to becoming pregnant. This problem will most likely increase in the future as overweight and obesity rates in the U.S. continue to rise among men and women alike.
Cancer screenings and other prevention measures are important tools to minimize the risk of disease and are especially important for women in early prevention, detection, and treatment of breast cancer and cervical cancer. In 2017, around 71 percent of women reported having a mammogram in the past two years, while 66 percent reported having a pap smear in the past years.