Women's Health: How Pharmacists Can Help

JUNE 11, 2012
The chat that occurs every day at the pharmacist’s counter very often happens between the pharmacist and a female customer—whether she is talking about her children, spouse, or older parents. There is so much to discuss and so many people to worry about that these women often neglect their own health. The pharmacist is there to help.

As the nation’s health crisis continues to grow, in terms of both health care policy and rising costs, it is important to note that women are in serious need of health care information for themselves just as much as for their families. This issue of Pharmacy Times brings into focus the many female health concerns that the health care community is just recognizing as clear warning signs for the future.

Cardiovascular disease (CVD), for example, affects women in many different ways than men—and the signs of this disease are often unrecognized by both the patient and the health care professional. Despite guidelines and awareness campaigns, CVD deaths in women continue to grow each year. See our Pharmacist to Pharmacist article on this topic and learn about the goals being set by the AHA to reduce risks and deaths. One of the chief reasons for the increased CVD death rates in women is the escalating obesity epidemic. While obesity is a national crisis that affects children, teens, men, and women, it is disturbing to see the escalating numbers each year for women. While public education and programs can help, an individual often turns to weight-loss programs or quick fixes to get on track. As the most accessible health care professionals around, pharmacists are even more important when counseling for obesity since this condition ties in to so many other health problems and ultimately affects the whole family.

Our cover story “Counseling for Obesity: Weighing in on What Works and What Doesn’t” provides the facts that pharmacists can share with their patients to deal with this important issue. With so many programs and so much online advice to chose from, each individual needs proper guidance and counseling. But let’s not forget about lifestyle factors and manageable risks. Pharmacists should also address the issue of personal responsibility when counseling their patients on this great health risk.

We know that pharmacists can use their counseling skills to handle any particular case, but it is imperative that they be informed about the options and tools available to help educate themselves and their patients. It’s always our goal to provide readers with the most useful and up-to-date clinical information to help them in their everyday practice. This Women’s Health issue is filled with what you need to know to aid you in providing the best service to your patients—from articles on breast cancer, to cardiovascular health, to premenstrual syndrome— and as always we provide you with more on iPad.

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