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For Release: April 30, 2009
Contact: Pamela Williams
Office of Communications
405/271-5601

Oklahoma Women Celebrate Women’s Health Week May 10-16

In an effort to call attention to the importance of women’s health, the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) is joining the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health in celebrating National Women’s Health Week, May 10-16.

During the week, families, health organizations, businesses, communities, government agencies, and individuals will join to raise awareness about women’s health issues and educate women about simple steps they can take for a longer, healthier and happier life. The theme for this 10th annual observance is “It’s Your Time.”

Heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases are the number one killer of women in Oklahoma. On average, nearly 18 females die from heart disease and stroke in Oklahoma each day. Risk factors associated with heart disease include smoking, obesity, lack of physical activity, and poor nutrition.

Another important aspect of women’s overall health is effective family planning. More than half of the live births in Oklahoma are reported as unintended pregnancies. Unintended pregnancies often pose risks for both mother and baby.

Often, women are the caregivers for their families and forget to take care of themselves. During National Women’s Health Week, the OSDH reminds women that they, too, need to visit their doctor and make sure their health screenings are up-to-date.

The OSDH and local communities have planned numerous activities to support National Women’s Health Week. This observance also provides an opportunity for individuals to learn about the Strong and Healthy Oklahoma Initiative that challenges all Oklahomans to eat better, move more and be tobacco free.

“National Women’s Check-up Day”, a day when women across the country are urged to visit their doctor, will be held on May 11. The OSDH also invites women to join the WOMAN Challenge – a free eight-week challenge that encourages women and girls to walk 10,000 steps or get 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day. For more information about National Women’s Health Week, visit www.womenshealth.gov/whw. To learn more about how the OSDH supports women’s health, please visit www.health.ok.gov.

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