5 Health Questions Every Woman Should Ask Herself Right Now

03/13/2015 09:35 am ET | Updated Mar 13, 2015
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By Dr. Mehmet Oz

What's my blood pressure?

If you don't know, you could be among the 78 million American adults who have hypertension. That's not a group you want to belong to. High blood pressure is the number one risk factor for stroke. I urge every woman to start tracking her BP now -- and that includes young adults. One study found that 19 percent of people ages 24 to 32 had dangerously elevated levels. A healthy blood pressure falls below 120/80.

Am I managing my stress?

The fact that stress is bad for your health is no surprise, but a recent study found that women who experienced a greater number of stressors (work problems, divorce, family illness) in middle age were more likely to develop dementia. Chronic stress may trigger the production of inflammatory compounds and damage areas of the brain linked to memory.

Do I have a carbon monoxide detector?

Every year, more than 20,000 Americans end up in the ER after inhaling the colorless, odorless toxic gas. Install a carbon monoxide detector on each floor of your home, and make sure all heating sources (which can generate the gas) are properly ventilated.

Am I getting enough vitamin D?

While doctors have believed for years that a D deficiency can increase the risk of respiratory infections, a 2013 study found that people with the lowest D levels were 2.6 times more likely to develop pneumonia than those with the highest. All it takes to reach your quota is ten to 15 minutes in the sun three times per week.

Have I had my flu shot?

There are several ways to get immunized against the flu. Vaccines come in two forms: injection and nasal spray. And you can choose between the traditional trivalent type (a shot that immunizes against three strains of the flu virus) and the newer quadrivalent option (available in both shot in mist form), which fights four strains. Remember, the key isn't which method you choose but that you get vaccinated, period.

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