Differences between men’s and women’s health

The World Health Organisation said on Monday women tend to receive poorer medical care than men.

Following is a breakdown of the differences between male and female health in children, adolescents, adults and elderly people, according to the United Nations health agency’s report:

INFANTS AND CHILDREN

— Death rates and causes of death are similar among boys and girls until 9 years of age.

— Pre-term birth, birth asphyxia and infections are the main causes of death in the first month of life, when mortality is highest. Pneumonia, diarrhoea and malaria are the main causes of death during the first five years of life.

— Girls are more likely to suffer sexual violence than boys

ADOLESCENTS

— Teenaged girls are at risk of unsafe, unwanted and forced sexual activity that can make them vulnerable to HIV/AIDS, other infections, unwanted pregnancy and unsafe abortion.

— Women catch sexually transmitted infections more easily than men for biological reasons and also due to lack of access to information as well as health services.

— Pregnancy-related complications are among the main causes of death among girls aged 15 to 19 in developing countries, with unsafe abortions accounting for a large number of such deaths.

ADULTS

— Every year, about 500,000 women die from giving birth, almost all in developing countries.

— Poorer nations lack services to screen and treat cervical cancer, the second most common type of cancer among women.

— Women are more susceptible to depression and anxiety than men. Some 73 million women worldwide suffer a major depressive episode every year. Mental disorders following childbirth affect about 13 percent of women within a year of delivery.

— Women typically prepare most of the family food, and thus are most exposed to indoor smoke from burning solid fuels for cooking, a phenomenon most common in poor countries. The burden of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a lung ailment also related to smoking, is 50 percent higher among women than men.

— Women suffer far more fire-related injuries and deaths than men, with most related to cooking accidents and others the result of intimate partner violence. Burns are a leading cause of death among women aged 15 to 44 in southeast Asia.

ELDERLY

— Though often considered a “male” problem, heart attacks and stroke are the main killers of older women. Cardiovascular disease is often undiagnosed in women.

— Because they live an average of six to eight years longer than men, women represent a big proportion of all older people. Their main problems in older age, often untreated, include poor vision, hearing loss, arthritis, depression and dementia.

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