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As the nation's prevention agency, CDC strives to accomplish its vision of "Healthy People in a Healthy World...Through Prevention." For women, this involves working to better understand the health issues that have an adverse impact on women, disproportionately affect women, occur only in women, or have an impact on infant outcomes as a direct result of a pregnancy-related event. Women's health once focused primarily on puberty, pregnancy, and menopause. Now, women's health is recognized as being broad in focus and warranting additional attention and study and involves not only chronic conditions but individual lifestyle choices and environmental and organizational factors.

This publication focuses on some of the specific issues affecting women's health: falls and resulting hip fractures, sports injuries, breast and cervical cancer, and congenital toxoplasmosis. For each report, prevention recommendations and specific research recommendations are provided. Much still needs to be done. The publication addresses diverse and seemingly unconnected women's health issues; however, these issues are very much connected, and several themes run throughout each of the reports. For example:

  • Prevention -- whether primary or secondary -- continues to reduce or prevent injury, disease, death, and disability. Prevention is an essential component to maintaining health.
  • Science continues to strengthen and support public health action on the individual, local, and national level.
  • Although much progress has been made in the area of women's health to reduce morbidity and mortality, more prevention research needs to be done.
  • Public health affects every phase of our lives: how we live, work, and play.

Whether the topic is falls in the home, injuries associated with leisure or work- related activities, screening for toxoplasmosis, or implementation of an early detection program, prevention plays a vital role. Our partners in prevention (e.g., other health agencies, business, education, communities, and individuals) also play a vital role by developing and implementing prevention strategies and policies and by promoting healthy behaviors and environments.

After reviewing each of these reports, examine current practices that have an impact on women's health where you live, work, and play. Are there opportunities for improvement? As costs related to disease, disability, and injury continue to increase, the role of prevention to maintain health becomes more critical. Prevention is about staying healthy and living well -- and prevention works for women.

Yvonne Green
Associate Director 
Office on Women's Health

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