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For Release: May 1, 2008
Contact: Pamela Williams
Office of Communications

Oklahoma Women Called to Focus on Cardiovascular and Reproductive Health During Women’s Health Week, May 11-18

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 11-18. National Women’s Health Week is a nationwide initiative that calls attention to the importance of women’s health. This year’s theme is:  It’s Your Time: Get Inspired. Get Healthy.

National Women’s Health Week is important because it encourages women to make their health a top priority. Often women are the caregivers for their families and forget to take care of themselves. With National Women’s Health Week we remind women that they too need to visit the doctor, make sure their screenings are up-to-date and take time to think about the importance of their health,” said Secretary of Health and State Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Crutcher.

Among women in Oklahoma, one in 10 deaths occur from heart disease before age 65. Stroke is also a primary health issue for women in Oklahoma with 1 in 10 deaths from stroke occurring before age 65.

“Risk factors associated with these high rates of cardiovascular disease and stroke in Oklahoma include tobacco use, obesity, and physical inactivity, which contribute to the high mortality rates,” said Crutcher.

Another important area to focus on is reproductive health for men and women. More than half of the live births in Oklahoma were reported as unintended pregnancies. Effective family planning is crucial to reduce this high percentage.

“We believe there is a great need for more education of childbearing-age persons to understand their reproductive health and how to plan and prepare to have a healthy pregnancy and learn how to raise a healthy baby,” said Crutcher.

Women’s Health Week also provides an opportunity for individuals to learn about the Strong and Healthy Oklahoma Initiative, which challenges all Oklahomans to eat better, move more and be tobacco free.

The OSDH and local communities have planned numerous activities in observance of Women’s Health Week. Individuals are encouraged contact their local health department to participate in any of the following activities:

  • May 11:  Mother’s Day Kickoff – check for local events
  • May 12:  National Women’s Check-up Day – visit or schedule a doctor visit
  • May 11- 18: 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. Sign up at www.womenshealth.gov/woman/

For more information about National Women’s Health Week, please 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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