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Taking care of your health

Know your risk factors

Part of learning how to take charge of your health involves understanding your risk factors for different diseases. Risk factors are things in your life that increase your chances of getting a certain disease. Some risk factors are beyond your control. You may be born with them or exposed to them through no fault of your own. Others, like smoking, how much alcohol you drink, and your activity level, you can control. You can reduce your personal risk factors for many common health conditions by following the suggestions found throughout the Minority Women's Health section. Doing so not only will have a positive impact on your own health, but your family's health too. Our Screening tests and vaccines section also has information on why knowing your risk factors is so important.

Learning about common health problems is an important first step in taking care of your overall health. But, you also need to see a doctor regularly and be able to understand what your doctor tells you. Not getting the health care you need can affect your risk of certain health problems. Or health problems you have could go untreated and become worse. Finding a doctor and getting insurance can be hard. And using the health care system can be confusing. It can be even harder if you don't speak English. This section will help you jump some of these hurdles and play an active role in your and your family's health.

Content last updated July 16, 2012.

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