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Rising Costs Affect Women's Health

Survey Shows Many Women Put Off Doctor Visits Because of Higher Health Care Costs

Women's Views on Aging

This year's survey also focused on women's attitudes toward aging, with some surprisingly positive findings.

Four out of five women said they were emotionally prepared to grow older and a slightly lower number felt they had adequate knowledge of issues related to aging.

Tina Turner topped the list of celebrities over 50 who were considered most inspiring in terms of overall health. Two out of three women who chose her said it was because she has remained active and physically fit as she has aged and 58% cited her positive attitude toward aging.

When asked what was most important to them as they got older:

  • 30% of the women cited staying in good health without serious physical problems
  • 21% cited remaining independent
  • 19% cited maintaining good mental health
  • 2% said it was most important to maintain their physical appearance

Judy Norsigian, executive director of the Boston-based women's health advocacy group Our Bodies Ourselves, says many women develop a healthier perspective on their looks as they age.

"At a certain point you realize that you can't do everything," she tells WebMD. "You can either spend hours a day getting your body to look a certain way or you can spend that time doing something you enjoy more like being with friends."

She says successful aging involves not just doing all you can to maintain good health, but accepting the inevitable physical changes that accompany middle age.

"The attitude that the body has to be a perfectly functioning machine has gotten a lot of traction in this society and that is unfortunate," she says.

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