WOMEN’S HEALTH: The Downside of Urban Living

wh-article-2.jpgFast-paced, overcrowded urban living is mentally stressful, but have you ever stopped to consider the physical stress? Women need sufficient nutrients to maintain their health against an onslaught of pollution in crowded and trafficked city areas.

Everyone knows that the fast pace of overcrowded urban living is mentally stressful, but have you ever stopped to consider the physical stress that comes from living in a large city, and what effect this could have on a woman’s health?

There are definite risk factors, but how do these relate specifically to women’s health? And what is the primary source of risk?


The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that at least 20,000 premature deaths occur per year in the United States because of air pollution. Clean air standards have reduced emissions, but air quality is still a serious problem.

Air pollution can trigger or worsen asthma. It also aggravates all respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. This is of concern to women in particular as heart disease (surprisingly) is the leading cause death in females. Harvard Medical School recommends that if you suffer from heart disease, diabetes, or lung problems, or are in general poor health, you should monitor the air quality as you would the weather, before going outside.

On the bright side, clinical research has shown that vitamins C and E work to protect the lungs against air pollution. Each supplement provides protection against different pollutants, and together, they can help ward off a number of respiratory ailments, including bronchitis, asthma and emphysema.

Toxic air is also ‘bad to the bone.’ Bones are continuously breaking down and reforming, and when you have spent time in a polluted environment, the pollutants are captured and stored in the bones. Later, these pollutants can be released back into the bloodstream even if you’ve changed your environment to something more healthful. When a woman also has a calcium deficiency, the health problem is compounded.

Women are particularly susceptible to such health problems during and after menopause.

The threats posed to women’s health from city living therefore can be lessened, if not averted entirely, by supplementing the diet with vitamins C and E, and calcium.

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