GENERICO.ruScienceDifferent life expectancies with poor health in women and men have been revealed: a paradox

Different life expectancies with poor health in women and men have been revealed: a paradox

Gender inequality takes a surprising toll

Women are living with poor health longer than men, according to a new study on the gender gap in health care. While men are disproportionately affected by diseases that lead to early death, women are more likely to become ill and disabled.

Gender inequality has surprising effects

According to a global analysis of gender inequalities in health, which experts say highlights the urgent need to take action to promoting women's health, women live longer than men but suffer more often from poor health.

Globally, there are significant health disparities between women and men, with limited progress in closing health gaps over the past three decades, according to a study examining the impact of the world's 20 leading causes of disease, according to The Guardian. .

The results were published in The Lancet Public Health.

The researchers found that non-fatal conditions that lead to illness and disability, such as musculoskeletal problems, mental disorders and headaches, especially affecting women.

At the same time, men are disproportionately affected by diseases that lead to premature death, such as cardiovascular disease, respiratory and liver disease, Covid-19 and road traffic injuries.

Health disparities among women and men continue to increase with age, leaving women at higher risk of disease and disability throughout their lives because they tend to live longer than men.

Senior author of the study, Dr Louise Sorio Flor, from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, said: “This report clearly shows that global progress in health has been uneven over the past 30 years. Women are living longer but in poor health, and progress in reducing the burden of disease and disability has been limited, highlighting the urgent need for greater attention to the non-fatal consequences that limit women's physical and mental functioning, especially in older age. Likewise, men face a much higher and growing burden of disease, which can be fatal.”

According to Sorio Flor, the study is also a call for countries to step up data reporting on sex and gender: “Now is the right time for this study and call to action – not only because the evidence is now, but also because that Covid-19 has powerfully reminded us that gender differences can have a profound impact on health outcomes. One of the key points that the study highlights is that women and men differ in many biological and social factors that change and sometimes accumulate over time, resulting in them experiencing health and illness differently at each stage of life and in different regions of the world.

The challenge now is to develop, implement and evaluate sex- and gender-sensitive interventions to prevent and treat the leading causes of morbidity and premature mortality from early ages and across diverse populations.”

The study looked at differences in 20 the main causes of morbidity and mortality between men and women depending on age and region, writes The Guardian.

The modeling study used data from the 2021 Global Burden of Disease Study and did not take into account health conditions associated with sex, such as gynecological diseases or prostate cancer.

The analysis estimates that 13 of the 20 major causes of illness and death, including Covid-19, road traffic injuries and a range of heart, respiratory and liver diseases, rates were higher in men than in women.

The results of the study showed that among the diseases that were assessed, the ones that most adversely affect women are low back pain, depressive disorders, headaches, anxiety disorders, musculoskeletal disorders, Alzheimer's disease and other dementias, and HIV and AIDS.

Research has shown that these conditions contribute to disease and disability throughout life rather than leading to premature death.

Study co-author Gabriela Gil of IHME said: “It is clear that women's health needs to go well beyond areas that have so far been a priority for health systems and research funding, such as sexual and reproductive health. Conditions that disproportionately affect women in all regions of the world, such as depressive disorders, are significantly underfunded relative to the enormous burden they carry, and only a small proportion of public health spending worldwide is devoted to treating mental disorders.

Planning for the future health system must address the full range of issues affecting women throughout their lives, especially given the higher rates of disability they face and the growing female-to-male ratio in the aging population.”

The analysis was limited to data on women and men and did not produce estimates for different gender groups, highlighting the need for more data that covers sex and gender, The Guardian writes.

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