Resources for Women’s Health

Research updates and information to help women manage diseases and conditions.

AHRQ offers information to help enhance our understanding of women’s unique health needs and empower women to be more engaged in health care decisions. In addition to cancer and heart disease, health concerns unique to women, such as pregnancy and gynecologic care, are included.

Cancer

Cancer is a term for a large group of different diseases, all involving unregulated cell growth. Cancers are described based on the origin of the tumor, including—

  • Carcinoma—cancers derived from epithelial cells, such as the breast.
  • Sarcoma—cancers arising from connective tissue.
  • Lymphoma and leukemia—cancers arising from hematopoietic cells that leave the marrow and tend to mature in the lymph nodes and blood, respectively.
  • Germ cell tumor—cancers derived from pluripotent cells, most often presenting in the ovary.
  • Blastoma—cancers derived from immature precursor cells or embryonic tissue.

Resources for Clinicians

Comparative Effectiveness Reviews

Resources for Patients

Patient Treatment Summaries

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Diabetes

Diabetes Mellitus, often referred to simply as diabetes, is a group of metabolic diseases in which there are high levels of sugar in the blood, either because the body does not produce enough insulin or because cells do not respond to the insulin that is produced. There are three main types of diabetes: type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes.

Resources for Clinicians

Comparative Effectiveness Reviews

Other Research Reports

Resources for Patients

Patient Treatment Summaries

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Genitourinary Conditions

Genitourinary conditions affect the parts of the body that play a role in reproduction, as well as those that produce and eliminate waste products in the form of urine.

Resources for Clinicians

Gynecology

Gynecological disorders affect the female reproductive system (uterus, vagina and ovaries). Some problems can affect the proper functioning of the reproductive system and may affect a woman’s ability to get pregnant.

Resources for Clinicians

Comparative Effectiveness Reviews

 

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Heart and Blood Vessel Conditions

A variety of diseases can affect the heart and vasculature, including:

  • Coronary heart disease.
  • Cardiomyopathy.
  • Cardiovascular disease.
  • Ischemic heart disease.
  • Heart failure.
  • Hypertensive heart disease.
  • Inflammatory heart disease.

Resources for Clinicians

Comparative Effectiveness Reviews

Clinician Research Summaries

Resources for Patients

Patient Treatment Summaries

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 Mental Health

Chronic mental health issues, such as depression and schizophrenia, can be debilitating for those who experience them and distressing for family members and caregivers. While the exact cause of these diseases remains unclear, it is thought that a combination of neurotransmitter imbalances plus genetic predisposition may contribute.

Resources for Clinicians

Comparative Effectiveness Reviews

Resources for Patients

Patient Treatment Summaries

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 Muscle, Bone, and Joint Conditions

Rheumatic or musculoskeletal conditions comprise more than 150 diseases and syndromes. Those conditions with the greatest impact on society include rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and osteoporosis.

Resources for Clinicians

Comparative Effectiveness Reviews

Resources for Patients

Patient Treatment Summaries

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 Pregnancy and Childbirth

Throughout pregnancy and childbirth, a woman faces many health care decisions that impact both her health and the health of her baby. Additionally, some women have health problems before they become pregnant that could lead to complications. Other problems arise during pregnancy.

Resources for Clinicians

Comparative Effectiveness Reviews

Other Research Reports

 

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 Smoking Cessation

Smoking is a known cause of multiple cancers, heart disease, stroke, complications of pregnancy, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and many other diseases. Smoking in pregnancy can be harmful to both the woman and the fetus, sometimes resulting in stillbirths, spontaneous abortions, decreased fetal growth, premature births, low birth-weight, placental abruption, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).  It has also been linked to cognitive, emotional, and behavioral problems in children.

Resources for Clinicians

Resources for Patients

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 Wellness

Staying healthy is key to securing a woman’s overall well-being.  Knowing which screening tests are needed and when to get them, which medicines may prevent diseases, and daily steps to take for good health can help women achieve their wellness goals. Go to AHRQ's Patients and Consumers page for more information.

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Information About Ordering

Many of these resources on women’s health were developed by AHRQ's Effective Health Care Program, a resource for evidence-based, comparative effectiveness research. The Program’s resources for health professionals and patients can help them compare and discuss treatment options to make more informed decisions and improve the quality of their health care.

Page last reviewed July 2018
Page originally created September 2017
Internet Citation: Resources for Women’s Health. Content last reviewed July 2018. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/professionals/clinicians-providers/resources/womens-health.html